Sunday, December 21, 2014


I'M TIRED OF WRITING ABOUT MYSELF---so I'll relate a few more highlights and tell you what I think this all means.  Really, I have been trying to make a point.

1. I lived briefly on a desert Island (Ballast key) about 10 miles out from Key West, Fla.
I sailed my Shark Catamaran out there with my girlfriend (the lady who ran off to mexico) and settled in for a week or so.  It was fascinating at first and then it got tedious.  Finally we ran out of water and hurried back.

2. I sailed down the Mississippi River from Memphis to New Orleans on that same boat (sails only--no motor) --(different girlfriend)--a distance of about 600 miles---took 10 days---we slept at night on sandbars.  This was one of those fantasies that was as thrilling as I'd hoped it would be.
One exciting moment was sailing past the Delta Queen paddle wheel steamboat with all the people waving to us.  We drifted along in splendid silence--sometimes only a few feet off shore sometimes startling deer.
I went on to have many boating experiences--not least was "losing myself" in the canyons of Lake Powell.

3 I've not had a job in about 40 years.  I found a way to avoid rent---and that has made all the difference.  The income from the houses I've owned was just enough to let me live comfortably unemployed--let me spend my time doing what I enjoyed.

4. Had 15 minutes of fame---with my "Believe and Be Damned" speech.  Got a standing ovation from a packed house in Ft Lauderdale.  Did a radio talk show circuit discussing it-- Gave it about a hundred times in Unitarian churches across the country.  (Truthfully, it amounts to nothing---made no serious money---people forget what you said) Just gave me a short "high"--(not a bad thing)
And Oh yes: I won 1st prize in the Beaux Arts Ball in New Orleans in a self made costume.

5.Miscellaneous stuff:  Had a nose Job--to remove a bump injury--Traveled above the Arctic circle with my Friend Arnold--to the town of Inuvick.  Memorized a hundred classic poems which I can still recite.  Wrote a hundred or so of my own.  Was nearly bit by a sidewinder rattlesnake. Have a low tolerance for Alcohol and therefore have never been drunk.  I have boondocked more than 7000 nights all over Canada, the USA and Mexico.

CONCLUSION:  By now you've got the flavor of my life.  In some ways it was indeed thrown away because I have few material things to show for it.  I have traded a career for experiences.  I DON'T REGRET IT.  Thoreau said it best:  "Time is the stream I go fishing in".  I believe with Ayn Rand in the virtue of selfishness.  That if you live your life for yourself--doing the things that make you happy, you are more likely to contribute to a better world than if you give your self away--let yourself be used by others.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014



1. I very briefly interviewed Rev Moon--founder of the Moonie cult---asked him 3 very challenging questions.  It was in the late 60's when his following in the US was probably less than a hundred.  A Karate expert named Jhoon Rhee was trying to recruit me---invited me to the welcome party in Washington DC.  Rev Moon spoke briefly then opened the floor for questions. I asked the pivotal question: Do you really claim to be Jesus Christ returned to earth? (he does) He said:  "I will let you decide that".  I said: "Will you die a mortal's death?" He said "yes". (Scripture has him ruling over a transformed earth when he comes back) Finally, I asked if he could do miracles.  Now he was annoyed with me and saw I was not a follower.  He said: "Even if I did a miracle for you---you would not believe."  My embarrassed host moved the meeting along.  I watched later as the new Jesus Christ tried to cut a cake with a sword. He didn't know that the cake was not solid but was built on a cardboard foundation.  When the sword wouldn't go through--he became a little flustered---then grasping both ends of the sword he crunched through the cardboard--collapsing the huge cake.  It was obvious to me (maybe others) that ego had surged momentarily in the New Jesus Christ. Everyone laughed nervously and broke into applause.
Imagine my astonishment over the years when this fakir from North Korea got hundreds of thousands to follow him.

2. I Briefly interviewed Sandra Tanner---granddaughter of Brigham Young--and author of the fiercely anti-Mormon book:  "MORMON CLAIMS EXAMINED"---A scholarly--very detailed--analysis of the falsehoods and follies of Mormonism. Check her out here.  (also if the subject interest you I recommend Stephen Mansfield's book: THE MORMONIZING OF AMERICA.) She and her husband are a bold couple to wage their war right there in Salt Lake.  I credit their research with much of what I know about this ridiculous religion.  Sadly, they are evangelical Christians with their own follies to consider.  Mormonism is more vulnerable than Christianity because along with its doctrines it makes scientific claims that are Provably untrue.  After a century of trying to defend the claims of the book of Abraham---the LDS church admitted last month that it simply wasn't true.  And now genetic evidence proves that the American Indians are NOT descended from the ten lost tribes of Israel. You have to be REALLY REALLY credulous to be a Mormon. But I digress.

3. One of my strangest experiences was meeting someone incredibly LIKE ME. We even looked a bit alike---rode identical BMW motorcycles and had the same outgoing--pleasing--manner.  We locked on to each other at a National Motorcycle rally and didn't come up for air for about 2 hours---both of us astonished to meet an intellectual and philosophical and emotional twin.  Here's the Amazing thing:  I WAS BORED OUT OF MY SKULL.  There was nowhere to go with our conversation--no solid differences to explore--no character traits to adopt---In short---nothing to be learned.  Admire him as I did---he had nothing for me.  I went away wondering if I had anything to offer anybody.  Certainly I don't think I will flock with birds too much like me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Here's a few more.
1. The hyper rush of sharing.
Lured away to Mexico by an old love living there--I went down to heal her broken heart--leaving my current lady twisting in the wind. (nice story in itself--the Mexico lady--she lusted for bullfighters--moved to San Miguel de Allende---got one---got two---was disappointed with both---unsatisfying lovers--their stomachs a mass of ugly scars---from bulls horns--and their penis's not matching their courage--their ego's unbearable---she jettisoned them and took up with a cheese seller---who broke her heart)
My work done--I returned to New Orleans to find my lady sleeping with one of my friends.  OOOh the pains of hell----FOR AWHILE---like a sledge hammer to the gut and then it slowly went away. We three conferred and decided to share the lady on alternate days.  She slept with me on Mon, Wed, Fri and him on Tu, Thurs, Sat.  Sunday she slept alone.  She did this for a month then quit--choosing to be with me---said of the experiment:  "It was thrilling for awhile but became exhausting---That her lovers were like rival bulls trying to outdo each other." From my perspective it was hyper exciting.  On my nights I would quiver with anticipation---find great joy in pleasuring her--exhaust myself in ecstasy. In the months afterwards-- when our passion began to cool---I would urge her to find another lover to "threaten me with" and bring back the hyper sex. We lived together for 5 years. (Miss "L" if you read this why not comment anonymously on your memory of this experiment )

2. Barroom strategies:
I've done some of my hardest thinking on this subject.  Here are my conclusions: Three elements to a successful connection in a bar: a. Show some--but not too much--interest.
                                                  b. Display credentials---subtly--like speaking intelligently.
                                                  c. Display aliveness---(your playful child persona) "promise" fun.
Turns out someone has written a master work on this subject: Neil Strauss's book:  THE GAME.

3. Contractual relationship:
I did this once---With the lady who went off to Mexico.  We read a book on contractual marriages and decided to try a contractual relationship---spent some time carefully drawing up our wants and then signing a one month contract.  Think we renewed it once.  Have forgotten what ended it---Oh yes--she moved off to Mexico.

4. Wrote a poem to men from "Mars"--explaining those "ladies from venus".  All in good fun but containing seeds of truth.

What Every Martian Needs to Know

A spaceship has landed with men from Mars.
And, before they disembark,
Gather to hear the tour director
Make his briefing remarks.

Men, we’ve come this billion miles
Because we’re incomplete.
And the thing that we are lacking
Is women, soft and sweet.

Earth is mating ground, but remember
Women have come from Venus,
A whole different planet, and there’s a world
Of differences between us.

We are mighty studs and stallions
With inborn driving need
To charm a lot of maidens and
Scatter lots of seed.

But these ladies here from Venus
Have a different agenda.
They only want one loving mate
And a cozy hacienda.

So love and sex are apples and oranges
To us Martian males.
But women won’t have them separately;
They insist on fruit cocktail.

Mother Nature’s thrown us a cross-purpose curve;
The solution’s still in doubt.
Couple’s must find a way to work
This contradiction out.

Meanwhile, men, go charm some lady;
Get kissed upon the lips.
And to help you in your quest,
We pass along these tips.

Ladies from Venus are like skittish rabbits.
Do I need to tell you, Rookie?
We must develop gentle habits
Pretend you don’t need the nooky.

Don’t get in a hurry to shed your pants.
Restrain that raging need.
Bide your time, and do the dance.
Love can’t be won with speed.

When women tell their troubles, you wanna fix ‘em
As soon as they’ve arisen.
But curiously, what Venus wants
Is just for Mars to listen!

So polish your manners; listen for hours.
Brag in moderation.
Fix her rig; bring her flowers.
Avoid inebriation.

Don’t flash money or flex your muscles.
They’ll think you’re an uncouth sap.
Women from Venus consistently
Reject all macho crap.

I know, I know, it’s a peck of trouble,
I can hear some of you say,
We’re jumping through hoops, we need love on the double,
Why, it’s easier just to be gay!’

But gentlemen, gentlemen, when the rose finally blooms,
When body and soul are a-quiver,
When joy and passion fill the room
With pleasures only women deliver,

You’ll sing with me the ecstasy song,

OOOh sweet Venus, where ya been so long.’ “ 

PREVIEWS OF COMING POSTS:  I think I will wrap up this personal history segment with a few more experiences from my thrown away life that you may find hard to believe--like an interview with Rev. Moon---founder of the moonies---and with Mrs Tanner--Brigham Young's granddaughter. Then I hope to make explicit the point I've been hinting at--what my life has to do with yours. When I've done this I will tell you what I've been doing in the past month.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


WOMEN CANNOT KNOW HOW DEEPLY WE ACHE FOR THEIR PLEASURES.  Watch male animals battle for females till they are exhausted ---even when hungry lions are about--and you get some hint as to the urgency of our need.  We begin to yearn for you---I daresay about 6 and endure about 10 years of extraordinary frustration in this culture. (how much Dahmer-like wierdness can be traced to this frustration is worth researching)  In a world I would make-- the balance of desire would be more even----or the culture less cruel. (some cultures--I've heard---allow nannies to masturbate young boys --to ease their tension) Happily, our culture is bending a bit---sex is easier, earlier and
in more imaginative forms.  I think--on balance--it's a good thing. Frustrated sexual desires lead to
life altering abuses of the young as in the Catholic priests scandals.

But I digress.  I have promised to share some "unbelievable" incidents of my own sexual history.
1. I begin with a "lightweight" incident at college where I was seduced by a teacher who with infinite finesse-- shepherded me to bed.  I enjoyed it---not a big deal---not hard to believe?

2. I once dated a nudist---who surprised me on our first date by answering the door nude.  Said she wanted to see the look on my face. (sheepish smile) also not hard to believe?---Stay tuned!

3. Three times in my travels I have seduced ladies at rest areas. One was a Mormon lady at the rest area near the Salt flats speedway. Another outside Dallas and the third in New Mexico.  All seemed to me a gift from the Gods. Right place--right time? Also not hard to believe?---stay tuned!!

4. Dated a Guru.  A female guru came to Tampa town and I watched her declaim her message to a packed house. She has a nationwide following.  Friends arranged a date with her because I was single and at the time performing a one-man Walt Whitman show. (who had much to say about enlightenment).  We clicked-- and she invited me to perform at her home congregation. I did and she paid me generously--then spent some quality time with me. Woo Woo people would know her so I will detail no more. I will say that Enlightened intimacy is as good as you would suspect--super fun!
She tried to enlist me--but I simply did not believe her metaphysics and declined. I'm getting a little harder to believe now---aren't I?  Stay tuned--you positively won't believe the final one!

5. I tried to seduce my grade school teacher---40 years later.  She was still beautiful--widowed and we had exchanged chit chatty letters. I remembered the fire I felt in her class. When I went home recently, I called on her--thanked her for my lessons and displayed my most charming and erudite self---showed her I was quoted in a scholarly book (Practicing Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton--page 83)  Ever so carefully I moved to that line you cannot cross without giving offense or revealing your desire.  But if you don't approach that line, you have NO chance of "success."  I went right up to the line in a phone call that night and my quarry suddenly understood my intentions.  I could hear in her voice that she was shocked and not the least bit interested.  I retreated quickly, assuring her with as much plausibility as I could muster that this was a poorly worded misunderstanding. Perhaps I covered my backside---perhaps I didn't.
What we've illustrated here is that lust can envision the remotest possibilities---entertain the most far fetched wishes--and call a most rational man into absurd action.  Jeesus--what was I thinking.

6. OK here's where I'll lose you---but it's true. Here's the story: (All the parties but myself are dead)
She was high society, drop dead gorgeous and 10 years older-- and she wanted to play tennis with me. (friend of a friend) I'm terrible at tennis but she didn't seem to care.  Our second time out while taking  a lengthy break on the grass, I noticed a pulsating artery in her neck and understood what it meant: She wanted me!! I hadn't even considered it because she was so far out of my impoverished Seminary Student ballpark. My heart surged--and I kissed her--then and there.  We began to meet and eventually became lovers.  I will never forget the irony of guest preaching in a southern Baptist Church one Sunday and looking out from the pulpit to see her and her husband in the audience. (shades of Rev Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne) Honestly--it didn't trouble me at all--I was already drifting away from absolute (revealed) ethics toward relative (discovered/situational/consequential) ethics.

Eventually, I got married to my college sweetheart, moved away and never saw her for 22 years.
(here's the part you will find hard to believe)
I met her briefly at the funeral of a mutual friend.  Still exquisitely beautiful---still married. She was warm--we exchanged pleasantries.  Found myself in a private side conversation with her husband and asked him about his job with Wal-mart. (He was in the inner circle as a site locator and often in the company of Sam Walton)  He said: "I Quit! That bastard was having an affair with my wife--sending me out of town so he could get with her."
So there you have the unbelievable thing:  Sam Walton and I shared a lover!!

RANDY RUMINATES: I don't know if all this revelation is doing me or you any good.  One of my friends has warned me that "stuff you put on the internet never goes away." But Jesus and Brad Blanton say: the truth will set you free!

Sunday, December 07, 2014


She called me one day; said I want to buy you breakfast; I met her at IHOP; pleasantly puzzled because we had dated several times and I sensed no movement toward intimacy.  Oh how I lusted for her; beautiful, curvaceous, aloof.  My charm had failed me--I considered giving up.

She said "I know you want me and I want to tell you why I've refused."
Then followed a story that sped my heart--literally.  She said "I've been abandoned by lovers who grew tired of me---and it hurt for a long time.  One day at my job my boss called me in and told me that he loved his wife but found himself fantasizing about me.  He ask if I would consider trading sex for a weeks pay.  I was shocked and told him no.  Then I thought about it and considered the money and the fact that I liked him anyway.

Next week I told him I would try it once.  I did!  I liked it---he was a good lover.  That was 3 years ago and we still see each other---and he pays me.  I've decided that any future lovers would have to pay me so that if they dumped me I would have compensation to make me feel better."

Now you can guess why my heart sped up.  IT WAS POSSIBLE!  The only question remaining was HOW MUCH.  She thought about it and gave me a number.  I pulled out my wallet on the spot and paid. We went to her place---it was money well spent.  We got along famously.

A week later I asked for a monthly rate that I could afford.  We agreed and months went by.  I never tired of her---thought at times I was falling in love with her---took her on dates etc.  She told me that she had 3 lovers--her original boss and another guy.  I learned to live with that. Sex was always safe.

I left her for a greater love--life on the road when I moved away from Tampa.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I'm not ashamed of this arrangement---Money is a logical way to overcome the inequity of desire.  I've (overtly) paid for sex two other times: Once at the infamous Mustang Ranch outside Reno and once when I was 17 in a back street bordello in Vicksburg, Ms.
I don't think women feel the kind of raging lust that men feel.  A sign in a remote bar on Hwy 50 says it succinctly:  Men:No shirt, No shoes----no service----Women: No shirt---free drinks.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Six more things I've done--hard to believe

I share this with you because I want to be known.  These are quirky things from my childhood in Sondheimer, Louisiana.  (also because I'm stalling on the seven sexual shockers up next)

1. I WRESTLED A BEAR---Just briefly at a side show tent.  I was 12--the bear was small and muzzled and padded.  I paid the fee and for 30 seconds I enjoyed a tussle.

2. I  ATE POSSUM.  I watched my Grandfather climb a tree, grab the creature--come down with its jaws locked on his shoulder.  What happened next was the wonder: My grandfather began gently stroking it---and it let go.  We put it in a bag took it home, cooked and ate it. (Wouldn't do it now--seemed ok then)

3. I PLOWED WITH A MULE---My uncle had me do it--he was trying to qualify for some government program and couldn't afford a tractor.  It was fascinating for awhile---got old fast--was hard to do. The mule was hard to control.  Did it three days---I was about 12.

4. RAISED WITHOUT INDOOR PLUMBING MY FIRST 6 YEARS.  Remember vividly using sears catalog for toilet paper.

5. CARED FOR BY A BLACK NANNY.  My mother had 4 children in 6 years.  Me being the youngest was left in the care of a black nanny--that I remember with great affection.  Here's my tribute in rhyme:

Hard to know how much I owe
to my indulgent nanny;
black as coal--a diamond soul,
everyone called her Auntie.

She worked hard to raise me unscarred;
helped me feel my worth.
In loving ways she blessed my days;
put me in touch with earth.

6. SAVED FROM MUTILATION BY A JAILHOUSE DOCTOR.  For years (5 to 8) an infection ran pus from my left ear.  Embarrassing --messy.  My mother cleaned it frequently with peroxide.  The doctors recommended a drastic operation to remove the infected tissue--which would have left me with an ear situation exactly like Stephen Cobert's.  My grandmother said no---and took me to Oak Grove, La to a jailed doctor she had faith in and who, for whatever reason, was allowed to continue his practice in jail.  I remember the clang of the jail door as we entered and waited our turn.  He looked at my ear and recommended the removal of my tonsils.  Later at a hospital, it was done and my ear healed without damage to my hearing.

 COMING POST:  Next up is my sexual stuff---I hesitate to reveal it but I regard it as an essential part of this assignment I've given myself. I promise you will find some of it hard to believe.

Monday, December 01, 2014


This is the 6th in a series of 19 things I've done in my "thrown away" life that you may find hard to believe.

The statute of limitations is long past---so I can now confess with impunity.

Truth be told---I'm not really ashamed.  I was battling a clever and intransigent enemy---who had all the legal legs to stand on.  Unless I could topple him---I would lose my inheritance.

Here's the story in a nutshell:  My father---ever fearful of lawsuits---put nearly all his assets in someone else's name.  Someone he trusted---who then up and died---trapping his assets in a vulnerable limbo.  A near relative seemed poised to steal my rightful inheritance.  Negotiations failed! (my enemy actually said to me: "I think I've got it all)

My mind whirled some sleepless nights till I hatched a plan of recovery.  Soon, I had the money in hand.

Supoenas came from an outraged enemy----I would have to answer in court for my Machiavellian machinations.  I will tell the rest of the story in rhyme.

Daddy Took the Hit for Me

"Daddy I'm in trouble," I said
As he lay ill in a nursing bed.
"I was morally right but legally wrong.
They'll come and get me before too long.”

"I'll take the hit," he said to me.
Send the cops. I've a plan; you'll see.
I'm old and sick; my death's at hand.
What can they do to a dying man?"

I sent the cops and he explained;
He'd done the deed; was alone to blame.
It made him happy to save my bun;
One last gift to his youngest son.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I'd rather do an illegal thing for the right reason than a legal thing for the wrong reason.

I share the sentiments of William Loyd Garrison: With honorable people I will be honorable ---but when I'm dealing with the dishonorable---I will do whatever it takes. (paraphrased)

And while I'm talking about my father--I'll take this opportunity to share two more short poems that illustrate his thinking.

Daddy Dropped the Charges

Our store was robbed;
The thieves quickly caught.
Two neighborhood boys we knew,
In jail just two days,
When my father dropped the charges.
Puzzled and hot for vengeance,
I asked him why.
He said, “Our damage was slight,
A hundred dollars or so.
And if they are convicted of a felony,
They’ll stay in jail awhile and return,
Shamed and bitter—enemies,
Likewise their families.
Seizing opportunities to do us harm.
But if we let them go, they will feel gratitude,
And not likely repeat the offense.
We’ll have made friends with the family.
They will likely repay the damages,
And things will work out better.”
It was the right thing to do.
He never lectured the boys,

Simply told the sheriff to release them;
Let the sheriff explain.
I marvel now at his farsightedness.
The boys grew up to work for him.
The incident was never mentioned.

The Belt Punch

Daddy sent me to town for a belt punch
When our sawmill stopped dead cold.
The drive belt broke and needed relacing,
But first it needed new holes.

I asked at the store, and of several folks;
I checked with sawyer Bill.
No one had a belt punch and so
I returned straightway to the mill.

Daddy seemed dumbstruck with my tale.
In clearest oratory,
Said, “I sent you to town for a belt punch.
What you brought me back was a story.

Now son, I really need that tool.
You can see we’re in a crunch.
Go back to town and this time, please
Bring me back a belt punch.”

It was as though God spoke to me,
And I’ve made it a lifelong rule
To bring results and not excuses.
(I quickly returned with the tool.)

Saturday, November 29, 2014


This is the 5th of 19 things I've done with my "thrown away" life--that you might find hard to believe.
It was 1962 and I was drafted into the army and told to report to the induction station in Shreveport, La.  En route there on the bus I sat beside another draftee--a black-- named Sam.  When we got off the bus I invited him to coffee with me in the restaurant there.  I remember him being hesitant but I assured him it would be ok.  I really thought it would be--I had been living in Washington, DC and considered segregation over with.  We had just got seated when a policeman confronted Sam---said you will have to go to the colored side.  I said "No" and put out my arm to block Sam's exit.  The cop immediately put cuffs on me and led me out the back door.  Sam was allowed to leave.  A paddy wagon arrived and they put me in.

The ride to the station is one I won't forget.  They tried to injure me with sharp turns and jamming on the breaks.  (So yes I know---some cops have a vicious streak) I managed to hold tight and was not hurt.

When we arrived, I was jailed briefly then taken before some authority and questioned. He wanted to know why I broke the law.  In perhaps the bravest moment of my life--I told him the law was unjust and that he and the whole system "were on the wrong side of history".  When he learned that I was from East Carroll Parish--he seemed surprised--and doubtful.  Asked me who the sheriff was.  I told him "Red Gilbert".  He said "Boy--what the hell is wrong with you?"

When he learned that I was being inducted into the army--he assigned two officers to escort me there.  To this day I laugh when I remember my GRAND ENTRANCE into that room when about a hundred pairs of eyes watched me enter with a policeman on each arm.  They marched me to the authorities and explained---said they were not pressing charges in light of my induction.

Sam and I were in boot camp together in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina.  He must have told the blacks in our unit about the incident---because they were all very nice to me.

My moral courage has not been unfailingly high.  On many occasions, I have had to be rescued by my friends from sheer cowardice.  My wish to be liked has often trumped my moral insight.  That and my lust have most often led me astray.

BUT I HAVE THIS MOMENT TO REMEMBER (20 JUNE 1962) WHEN I STOOD TALL. I trust that the police blotter for that date will bear witness as an "incident report."

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I suspect that you have had your moment--or moments also---and when next you "get down on yourself"---relive it in your mind and enjoy a brief spasm of self esteem.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014




He was a thief and a brute (did you not see the film??) His death was a justified killing.


BY SUPPORTING HIS CASE YOU LEND CREDENCE TO THE RIGHT WING CRAZIES.  They are understandably perplexed that we cannot be persuaded by scientific evidence.



Please listen to me my misguided companions on the left.  By supporting this case you convince the right wing that we are irrational and they will generalize that suspicion to all the issues we fight for:

PICK A BETTER CASE TO GET RILED UP ABOUT:  THEY ARE OUT THERE.  One where the shooting was not justified.

Cops are indeed brittle---defensive about black males.  Let us be honest and admit that it is not without cause. (disproportionate crime) Cops will become less brittle and defensive and pro active as blacks give them less reason to be.  Blacks have some responsibility in this matter---to behave in a law abiding manner in their dealings with the police.  We will have to work together to make this prejudice and suspicion fade away.

My personal reaction to this mess is to move away from black neighborhoods and concentrations of Blacks.
I will not drive through Black areas till I feel safe.  They are venting their rage now and are as irrational as hell.  They are losing their allies in their frenzy.

My reaction to my liberal friends is to chastise them and tell them to think harder---pick winning horses to ride---learn to distinguish fly shit from pepper.

Monday, November 24, 2014


This is the 4th of 19 things I've done with my "thrown away" life--that you may find hard to believe.

I took precautions (spermacidal foam) but still she got pregnant. I was in my early 30's---she was perhaps 20.  Neither of us wanted to be parents.  I think my stress may have been as great as hers--both our dreams for the future were evaporating.  The doctor said she was about 6 weeks on.  When I asked, he said "I don't do abortions---they are illegal".  He prescribed something to start her period.  Useless! I asked everyone I knew.  Eventually found a "nurse" who knew how to induce a miscarriage.

  It was done(for a hundred dollars) and three days later the lady began to bleed alarmingly.  I hurried her to the hospital and a d&c was performed.  They asked lots of awkward questions and we somehow bumbled our way through the paperwork.  It took weeks for her full recovery.

I detail this so you can appreciate the fury I feel at those who stand in the way of safe and legal abortions---and my resolve to help others with unwanted pregnancies.

I looked for and eventually found a doctor a hundred miles away who would risk his professional career to help desperate women. On one occasion I drove a lady there paid the $250 fee, waited the half hour till the procedure was done then kept her several days. She healed quickly without complications.  What a difference!

Later, some of us in the first commune began to facilitate  access to safe abortions.
We found a local doctor we trusted and who trusted us.  The ladies of our community would welcome patients secretly routed to us---comfort them--arrange a betadine bath before the procedure --transport them and attend them afterward.  We charged nothing---and the doctor charged very little.  (A female gynecologist who shared our belief in reproductive choice) I remember with pride our tiny underground railroad.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Lives are wrecked by unwanted pregnancies.  The battle for reproductive freedom goes on.  There is no good reason for unwanted children.  I marched in the Washington DC million person demonstration for safe and legal abortions and joined defenders of  the clinic in Tampa, Fla against the anti-choice fanatics. On occasion I have tried to reason with these crazies. The  Santa Fe New Mexican published my article on the limits of expendability---my best arguments for choice.  I marched with a pro choice demonstration in Tallahassee, carrying a sign I made saying:
                                       ACORNS ARE NOT AN OAKS
                                        ZYGOTES ARE NOT FOLKS

A picture of the published article which was well received in the Liberal Santa Fe environment. You probably cannot read it here but its arguments are contained in the links given above.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


3rd in this series of 19 things I've done that you will find hard to believe----events in a life that one relative has declared a life "thrown away".

Our knees touched at a personal growth seminar---electricity! Some months later I moved in with her.
A high-powered Attorney with an incredible story:  She and her impoverished family lived during her youngest years in a reclaimed chicken coop.  During her last year of high school she mustered the courage to write a letter to a famous girls college---telling her story and of her ambition to become an attorney fighting for social justice.  They admitted her---full scholarship---telling her on arrival: The hard part was getting here---consider that you have it made---your challenge now is to make your life interesting.

 AND SHE DID----emerging some years later a fully qualified lawyer---joining the premier social justice law firm in the U.S.---the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Her specialty: defending death row cases in Alabama. She monitored dozens of them---filing motions to delay executions etc.
(I overheard a phone conversation where she asked the prisoner if he knew that his execution date was only 2 weeks away. I laugh now remembering his loud and emphatic response: OF COURSE I KNOW IT.  She comforted him---assuring him that delay was routine and that the motion was already filed.)
She was a Communist in her political beliefs---hated injustice and grievous inequality.  Hated Russian style Communism---"nothing but tyranny".  Needless to say we debated almost daily.  The sorest point of contention was the death penalty----I supported it---she opposed.

One day she made me an offer I couldn't refuse:  "Come with me to death row---meet some people condemned to die and see if your opinion holds".  I went with her---to Atmore, Alabama and sat beside her as they brought one after another of the condemned men to a secure room.  I was glad to see a burly guard peering through a window.

They were all black.  The first was stone crazy---moving jerkily around the room---yelling undecipherable phrases---unresponsive to his lawyer's questions.  She tried without success to get him to talk to me. I was afraid he would attack---the burly guard seemed ready to rush to our defense.  ---and in a few minutes she signaled and two guards ushered him away.  She whispered to me:  He's pretending to be crazy---hoping they won't execute an insane man.  I've forgotten what his crime was---no doubt it was murder.

The next guy ushered in was calm, penitent and demoralized.  She asked him to tell me about the night of his crime.  And he did--in gruesome detail.  A planned rural robbery of an old couple rumored to keep a lot of money.  Knock on the door---car trouble--could they use phone to call for help.
But the old man said no!  I will always  remember the next two sentences: "I decided to shoot through the door into his legs---but I shot too high and it killed him".  They conferred a bit more--lawyer client stuff and he too was taken back to his cell.

I have forgotten everything about the third one.

But the fourth was unforgettable.  (I think the prime reason for coming)  He was a beautiful, powerful, well spoken, courteous, dignified personality.  The escorting guards seemed to know he was special---did not touch him---simply walked beside him---chatting in a friendly manner.  I supposed that Martin Luther King Jr was likely treated thus during his incarcerations.  As he entered the room, the lawyer rose and shook hands with him.  She introduced me and we briefly shook hands---and that was all that was said to me.  But he got right down to business---INSTRUCTING HER--what he wanted her to do.
He took some part of the case away from her and told her to assign it to someone else--so that she could focus on another aspect.  Apparently he had a team of lawyers. I can still see him standing like a great general, arms folded, head tilted downward, gathering his thoughts, then looking her in the eyes and gesturing gently, like the godfather giving his instructions.  My mind was blown:  WHO IS THIS GUY?  WHY IS HE ON DEATH ROW? HOW DID HE DEVELOP SUCH PERSONAL POWER? (only in the presence of Werner Erhard have I ever felt so LESS THAN)

They talked awhile and then it was He who signaled that the conversation was over and motioned for the guards.
On our way home she explained that he was in prison for a relatively minor crime when a riot occurred and a guard was killed.  Alabama judged that everyone in the mob was guilty but selected only one to be tried for murder. (like the army when a whole regiment was cowardly in the face of the enemy---selected private slovak and executed him) Likewise, Alabama selected this guy and convicted him.
His case had become an international 'cause celebre' as you will see.

She then asked if my views had changed.  I said that I would personally pull the switch to execute the first three.  But not the 4th.

Back home---one morning she rose early to have breakfast with no less than Ramsey Clarke--one time Attorney General of the United States---who had flown down to consult with her about this case.
(It seems that the Chinese government---always defensive about its human rights situation was charging the US with abuses of its own and on that list was this guy on death row in Alabama.)

RANDY RUMINATES:  I don't know what happened to this case---don't know how to find out.  I moved away to Florida.  The most intriguing aspect to me is how a prisoner can find himself and develop himself into a powerful, attractive, wise personality.  Many just turn sour and rot. This guy made me think of Malcom X.

ADDENDUM:  I forgot to tell that by and large, I have changed my mind on the death penalty.
I've learned that it cost so much to legally execute someone that it's cheaper to house them for life. I'm also appalled at the number of wrongful convictions.  All in all I'm not sorry that the trend is toward no executions.

Next up:  I think I will share how I participated in an underground railroad for safe abortions.

Friday, November 21, 2014


CONTINUING MY 'thrown away" life and 19 things I've done you may find hard to believe.
I barely graduated from college---with a liberal arts degree---prepared for nothing in the real world.
I hitchiked home with no clue what to do with my life.  I "drifted" into conversation with a minister who suggested I go to the seminary and become a preacher.  Adrift, clueless, vulnerable and  suggestible---I said OK---took a train to Kansas City and entered the Seminary--got a job at Hallmark Cards to sustain myself and studied Old Testament, New Testament, Preaching, Ethics, theology and Archaeology.  Lived with a group of seminarians.  My instructors were generally of the liberal wing of the church and persuaded me the Bible was not infallible or "inerrant"; but contained flawed history, anachronism and even contradictions. (by the hundreds----eg I Chronicles 21:1 vs 2 Samuel 24:1) ( Most of my professors were eventually fired for heresy and it set off a huge schism in the Southern Baptist Convention that made national news--Ralph Elliot author of "The Message of Genesis--taught me Old Testament)
The good news for me:  I began to feel my worth and wake up my self esteem--even as my doubts about religion increased.  My first sermon was a smash hit (an argument with God) and I was invited to churches all around to preach it.  A paper I wrote on ethics (in the form of a play) was printed up for the entire student body.
Nevertheless I was becoming convinced that the entire world of religion was a grand delusion.  So I quit the Seminary and enrolled as a graduate student in Kansas University studying philosophy and comparative religion.  After my first year I was drafted into the Army. (served 2 yrs as a Military Policeman at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md)
I eventually became a Unitarian (Who have left religion and adopted Values) and enjoyed 15 minutes of fame for a faux revival sermon I wrote and delivered around the country. Here is the flyer I sent to arrange speaking engagements.
I still deliver this speech on occasion---last year in Yuma.   

Was the first to deliver a Unitarian Revival
After this article--I was invited to Unitarian Churches across the US.

Here's a line from the speech to give you an idea. (Delivered in Southern Baptist style--it always creates a sensation)

"No matter how loud I preach---some people fall asleep.  For the benefit of those just waking up--I will tell you what I have told you.
My brothers and sisters----beliefs are like rats---but these rats carry a plague.  And the plague that they carry is persecution--and war--and arrogance---and guilt---and wasted lives.
If I had my way---we would make one heap of all the world's old ratty beliefs---open the lid to that festering pit and SWEEP THIS ODIOUS VERMIN INTO HELL!

And be born again as an honest human being who does not claim to know more than he really knows"

Next up: I will tell you about my time on a real death row.
Eventually I'll get to my sex life---embarrassing but hopefully cathartic for me.


Monday, November 17, 2014

STORIES FROM A 'thrown away' LIFE

I LIVED 17 YEARS IN THREE COMMUNES---All of which I started.  Two were in New Orleans one in Tampa, Florida.

It was a pivotal experience that awakened me on many fronts.  I love living communally---entangling my life with a dozen or so people.  After 5 years of near-bliss I fell out of agreement with the group---suffered hugely---raged internally.  Finally I went off to San Francisco and took the EST training and began to take responsibility for whatever came into my life.  I eventually got a new vision---bought a fire damaged mansion--and started another commune---this one structured with a new system based partly on an insight from Buckminster Fuller: ---the critical distinction between MORAL and TECHNICAL solutions to human problems. (e.g. the problem of speeding cars where children play.  The moral approach is a warning sign---the technical approach is speed bumps---engineering situations rather than engineering people)

The next 5 years were truly blissful.  I found the right people--and together we created what I think is the "perfect" communal system.  (beginning with Andy--who sometimes comments on this blog)
I renovated the house as we occupied it and soon it was valuable enough to "cash in" and not have to work for many years.-----And so I did--selling to a member who kept the system going.  I went traveling for several years---then got the urge to create another one.  I did so--in Tampa, Fla for 7 more years.  Then I got another vision---living on the road---sold the house hit the road and have done this ever since.

I think I can summarize in a few paragraphs what I learned about communal living those 17 years.

1.  Self fulfillment is the basic purpose.  (Teilard De Chardin:  "Isolation is a dead end.  The self is fulfilled in community") Close living makes it easy to absorb qualities you admire in others.

2. There are 6 major challenges to group functioning.
   A. Power:---who will run things?
   B. Property:  Who owns what?
   C. Privacy: Protection of personal space.
   D. Performance: How will things get done?
   E. Peacemaking:  How are conflicts resolved?
   F. Personnel: How do you select and evict members?

The great breakthrough came when I saw that each of these challenges could be met with TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS:
*Power: Everyone was required to lead the group for one month----two months if you enjoyed it,
*Property: Your stuff was your stuff.
*Privacy: Color wheel on each door--6 colors--dial a mood---violators subject to eviction.
*Performance: All house chores were up for bid.  Lowest bid got the job and the money it paid from                            the common fund. (money is condensed energy--and it is the cleanest way to                                        exchange energy.)
*Peacemaking: Done by the leader--WITHOUT JUDGMENTS--by shuttle diplomacy. (facilitating                               peace, Kissinger style, by transmitting perspectives back and forth till each party was
                          satisfied. (this was our finest social invention--It never failed to resolve matters)
Personnel:  To join us you had to be INTERESTING.  You were evicted if you became                                          UNPOPULAR. (This also worked beautifully---avoided the tedious right/wrong game).


Friday, November 14, 2014


Slept a peaceful night here---wide open free to all desert-- outside Ridgecrest, Ca.

In town I was approached by this beautiful woman--who invited me to hurry over and see something wonderful.

Showed me the inside mechanism of a tiny observatory.

and the wonderful event that was happening right then---a partial solar eclipse.

Lent me a pair of special glasses so I could see it direct. People love to share special sights--I make it a practice to quickly say yes to most invitations.

I left and went about 20 miles out and took this zoom shot of a household that really lives remotely. Wherever there is a crack in a mountain wall---water is usually present---often enough to support a ranch.

About 9 miles out a dirt road I was surrounded by an odd band of motorcyclist.

Friendly bikers on an adventure--cooling off in this mine shaft. What makes this group unusual is that one guy owns all the motorcycles.  He shares with friends--who chip in for expenses.

Later that same day, this friendly tattooed lady drove up in her truck--chatted awhile and let me photograph her.
One day I ran into a fierce windstorm that threatened to topple my rig.  I quickly found an abandoned building and hunkered beside it.  You get some hint of the wind's ferocity to the left and right of the picture.
I lost the back window from my truck shell and stopped for two days in this small town to fix it.
When I saw that cow I decided the town (Inyokern) was quirky enough for my taste.
Had an hour long conversation with the "hippest" mayor I've ever engaged.  Told me what it's like to run a town. Mostly, it's about collecting and spending fees wisely enough to keep the town financially afloat.  He educated me on the challenges of a town surviving on "fossil" water. (Water accumulated over thousands of years in underground aquifers)  It must be used sparingly or the town will die.  Citizens can be "educated" in conservation by setting the rates high enough to make them consciously frugal.

This quiet structure intrigued me.  I noticed that no one went near it.  So I did! Note that tiny sign on the front---will show you what it says----explains a lot.
Turns out it's headquarters for a motorcycle club. On certain occasions they ride in and party here.
---- explains the wariness of the town.  One guy told me: "they don't bother us and we don't bother them."

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  At the moment I can't think of anything I'd rather do than drift around experiencing.  Will continue this vein till I've caught up with myself--then I will shock you (and embarrass myself) with 19 things I've done that you may find hard to believe.

Sunday, November 09, 2014


CATCHING UP WITH MYSELF.  I write from the infamous Slabs near Niland California.  I last reported from the remotes of California.  I've made my way to Quartzsite, Az and traded in two defective solar panels for 2 good ones. (Sure enough Koyocera honored its 25 year warranty---I've had them about 15 years.  The lightening strike only 10 feet away at the Grand Canyon might have got those two and I never noticed) I discovered that I can function quite well with only one of my 3 operational.  Then I went to Yuma for dental work---had a minor operation to prepare for a third implanted tooth.  Now I will go back to cover happenings I think are worth sharing.

I begin with this lovely US Army ring found on a side road near Mono Lake, Ca. It looks like some lady was wearing it around her neck on a beaded necklace.  I would like to return it to its owner. Call me at 602-402-9511--and tell me what's written inside and I'll send it to you.
My summer companion through Nevada, Idaho and Montana rendezvoused with me briefly at Mono Lake.  We found this great free campsite high on a mountain road.

The road seemed pointless till we stopped this truck and got the explanation.  Turns out that buried under that mountain road is a large water pipeline---the upper part of the California aqueduct taking water from Lee Vining creek to Los Angeles.  He showed us where the pipe was inserted through a mountain to get at the precious water. 

This was the most expensive gas during my entire summer trip:  Bridgeport, Ca.

The story of this unusual lake and its critical role as nursery for gulls and "filling station" for migrating ducks and geese is worth knowing.  A protracted legal battle saved it from extinction.
Its waters once topped the tufa formations behind me.  

That's me at Lone Pine Visitor center showing the 10 ft size of the pipe that transports the natural water of the Owens Valley to Los Angeles.  Now Las Vegas has decided to do a similar thing---transport via pipeline the water from Northern Nevada to their thirsty city.

My next adventure was to go explore a mysterious dark forest out in the middle of a vast dry lake.
This is the road to it.

And there it is.  I spotted it some days ago from the exit of Burro Schmidt tunnel.

On the way out I stopped to investigate this abandoned cabin with its assorted structures like this fine table.  It's obvious that the builder had a get-away-from it all dream.  But they never used it.  The cabin was never completed.  Very often I see this sort of thing---most often incomplete and unused. I guess energy flags and the dream dies.

This railroad prevents driving out there.  So I go find another way in.
It's a long way around but I eventually found a crossing and drove back. This was as close as I could drive to it. 
Walked the rest of the way.  A dead cat--the mystery thickens.
Finally I penetrate the forest down this spooky road.
To this odd thing at its center.  I have no clue.

And here's another mystery.  What is this thing?  It's  a ball of something alive---some kind of an anomaly.  I let it be.
This house foundation is about all that remains of a once thriving town named Saltdale.  By the weirdest of coincidences I happen to know the person born in that house about 40 years ago. Hi Mary--does it stir memories to see it?

On the far western edge of this dry lake is the unlikeliest of communities named Cantil.  It's like living in the Sahara desert---houses are nearly covered by the sand.  I stopped and asked a resident why (in heavens name) people would live here?  He gave me a beer and took a long time to tell me he didn't know-----said his uncle left him the house and he needed to live some place. He begged me to stay the night.  I declined.
His house.

About 20 miles South is California City--a place listed in the encyclopedia of forlorn places.
So I went there and spent the night in a vacant lot.

Turns out, it's not so forlorn any more----this is part of a huge golf course surrounded by fine homes.

Now I will end with the titilating story I promised.  This picture adorns the wall of a small town museum which shall remain unnamed.  Long years ago I visited and was totally smitten with a docent there.  As we chatted my heart raced--dear God how I lusted for that woman.  Nevertheless, I controlled myself and left. But I called back later and confessed my feelings.  Amazingly she felt the same. So eventually we met in a distant town for a night of pleasure---then went our separate ways--for she was engaged to another.
So recently I was in that town again and stopped at the museum out of sentimentality.  Damned if she wasn't still there---this time wearing her wedding ring.  I said nothing--just walked about--debating whether to reveal myself.  There was a guy there---might have been her husband.  I kept silent and eventually started to leave.  At the door a friendly voice said: "Thanks for stopping by Mr. Vining."
I glanced back at the impishly smiling lady who held one finger on the register where I signed in.  I guess I will never know if she recognized me or routinely acknowledges the guest.  I smiled back and said: "my pleasure"  

PREVIEW OF COMING CONFESSIONS:  My family says of me that I have wasted my life---and It may be true.  So what the hell---I might as well tell some shocking truths about how I have wasted it.
At a minimum you may find it interesting.  I will begin soon to report 19 things I have done that you will find hard to believe. Each, however, could be proved if absolutely necessary.  For a teaser, I will tell you that I once wrestled a bear.