531. May 30…”It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“The Giant Pancake of Death” 2011

“The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount.” – B.F. Skinner

I can’t say I ever wanted it any different than it was…and maybe the wishes were just a way of moving on the game board…kept me there but let me feel what over there was like…and some days I was the shoe..with no foot…others the dog…that couldn’t bark…I thought it all…over it tumbled in my mind…trying to settle on one single drop of water…and one crumb didn’t taste any different than another…and the big stuff….were just a bunch of little crumbs…together…maybe more a single cloud in the fall sky…moving it there…from there…on those waterbone days…the ones she still dreamed about..where the shadows stayed the same…the light crisp early in the morning…and they towered like sentinals…there against the sandstone and gray colored  cliffs….

as a child…when we traveled…it was non-stop from point A to point B…bypassing every scenic site…along the way…typically in the west…at that time…roadside attractions…enticed the curious traveler with giant luring billboards…”The Thing, only 300 miles“…and about every 5 miles was another billboard…”Don’t miss ‘The Thing’, see a real live Indian village, cactus candy”…the traveler was hooked by each sign with a bit more information…and then another 5 miles…”The Thing, PREHISTORIC! never before seen by human eyes, Black Mambas, Indian jewelry”….I would sit patiently…waiting for the next sign…and when I was able to read… and didn’t have to have my brother tell me what each sign said…I was all powerful…often though they would start spreading the signs out…15 to 20 miles…the anticipation would kill me…I’d look for downed billboards…and then there in front of me…another one…”The Thing, oldest known human, see Indians making moccassins, real ‘war drums and tomehawks’, beef jerky, cherry cider, don’t miss the ‘Thing“…I would often not say I needed to go to the bathroom until we were close enough to the roadside attraction so we’d have to stop…there…I could see myself…walking back to the car…a real Indian headdress…a bag full of fool’s gold…some cactus candy….and the “Thing”…burned into my memory…and maybe my mother would have fainted…because the “Thing” was so gruesome…and my father in his checkered shirt…khaki pants….and green lensed sun glasses…would be carrying a box of gallon jugs filled with cherry cider…and Kenneth…held a giant bag of  real “Buffalo” Beef jerky…and we were set….

it rarely ever happened that way…but I did see…”The Thing”…

now a days when I travel…I will stop at every place I want to stop…if I feel the need to read each historic marker from New Mexico to Maine…I’ve not made a timeline that requires anything other than start when I do…stop when I do…I like to drive about 4-5 hours…check into a hotel that …A). has a swimming pool…B). HBO….C). A restaurant at the hotel…D). a really cool ice machine and E). Has that hotel smell….if anyone of those are not there….I just can’t stay there…because traveling is well….about traveling…and I like the in-house restaurant to have scenic placemats…of places like…”Picturesque Wyoming”….or “Points of Interest in and around Bisbee”…or a brief history of the place I’m sitting in…and the waitress…was born and raised right there in Uvalde Texas…or I like to hear how everybody on the restaurant staff ended up right there…in say…Lander Nevada…and I especially like when the in-house restaurant is the place where all of the locals eat breakfast…it makes me kind of feel like them without all of the gossip…and nothing to do on Saturday night…

I’ve noticed I generally practice the accent of the area when I’m traveling…don’t want to stand out you know…so I’ll say things when asked where I’m from…like “down south of here“…so if they have any really creepy plans…they might just think I have relatives that lives close by…and sure maybe I’m 700 miles south of here in a completely different state…but who really needs to know that…my license plate will give me away…anyway…I think it important to blend in a little better than not…you just never know what might happen…I could fall in love with the waitress and end up living right there…and it would be terrible to think that I said something that just might haunt me for a few years…not to mention the bad impression…

I think I like short trips better than long ones…these days…not that a long trip doesn’t keep me awake all night long…because the anticipation is unreal…but short trips…have less driving…more seeing and opportunities for photos…mid-day cocktails…maybe even running into someone I know…or someone that knows someone I know….and something about being in a car for 17 hours that just sharpens the edge a little to much for me…because 17 hours for me is between 3-4 days of driving…based on 4-5 hours a day of driving…short trips…are like going to a surprise party….for me…before I can get fidgity…I’m there…and it’s still light…and it’s all happening right there in front of me…

here is some of this weekend….

and the “Giant Pancake of Death”…it’s at the Ridgeback Restaurant…at the turn to Fenton Lake….they have the best Huevos Rancheros I’ve ever eaten….and yes I did eat the “Giant Pancake of Death”….with sugar free syrup…and I’d do it again…oh and ask for “Jen”

safe and above all happy travels….

thank you Damien and Jennifer for a wonderful weekend….

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha

493. February 15th…”The consequences of an act affect the probability of it’s occurring again.” – B. F. Skinner

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Dream Days” 2011

“If there is a sense of reality, there must also be a sense of possibility.” – Robert Musil

in my dream…very early this morning I was walking slowly and as quietly as I could…across a path covered with dried leaves…there was a man there I didn’t know…he was talking to someone I know well…he asked me if I was Tom….

a year or so  ago…I burned up 30 years worth of writing…daily…musings… complaints….ideas..dreams…goals…you name it…I’d written religiously since taking a course in college on journal writing…in the late 1970’s….there was a level of liberation I’d found in writing that…not only allowed me some freedom…but offered me the possibilities….

I used writing as a directional rudder…and as an echo…never shared a bit of the words until a few years ago…never reread the writing until that same time…as it seemed like peeled skin from a bad sunburn…a necessary dialogue to make certain…certain things progressed….and all remained smooth…

yesterday…I sat in on a mediation…and was amazed to see how it all worked…not the function really or the process…but more the players…their roles and what they were trying to do…the mediator was…disinterested…had no opinion…clearly there to allow dialogue…and knew at the beginning there was no end in sight…while the players…brought their very best…their finery…all of the ecutrements that expanded the possibilities to be seen in a brighter light….it never panned out that way…

somehow a piece of the humanity didn’t come into the room along with everyone…it must have sat outside…waiting…

as artists we all have to figure out what it is we say “Yes” and “No” to…and not let what is possible make that decision…I think it is over time we find these insights and can make the decisions much easier than when there was a great deal of idealism…perched on the easel…I’m not suggesting cynicism for idealism….I am saying for me it has come easier each time I finish something to say I know more about this than I did a few days ago…and not fool myself into believing…the work has become anything more than the work…

I’m finding the path is becoming easier….more negotiable and certainly wider in most spots…it is all spreading out like the roots of a tree…and each is defining what role it plays in the “Career” I’m opting to call life these days…

“The consequences of an act affect the probability of it’s occurring again.” – B. F. Skinner