asynchronology IV - archive 2007.winter




2007.03.29.1940 progress, slowly

I have been using a lot of Lexel. It's harder to work with than silicone, but for projects requiring a stronger bond in imperfect conditions, or anything using plastic, it's absolutely the stuff.

It's kinda quiet around here. Mr. God's tenure at East Jesus has come to a close, and he is back in Prescott catching up on all the work he never got around to doing while he was convalescing and slacking off and putting together the Zen Center Sculpture Garden. He's put up some pictures and stories here.

Last night I benched LowTech's 2m radio, which required a good hour of cleanup just to make the space ready. I got nowhere with the actual troubleshooting, but am now better prepared to solder up whatshisname's USB thingies, which should be arriving soon.

Time seems to be standing still, the same way a hacksaw oscillating at 60 Hz under mercury vapor lamps flickering at the same frequency seems to be standing still. There's this jitter to it you just can't put your finger on...

Some hippies are gathering a few miles away for the purpose of making music in order to facilitate worldwide understanding and justice. No, really, actually if they'd leave behind the Antioch ca. 1990 rhetoric they would sound very promising. I went looking for them today, and found nothing at the 2.7 mile checkpoint. A guy in a van - one of the organizers - was looking for them, too. I gave up quickly, it being high noon and very sunny.




2007.03.23.1129 first rains in 16 months

...and I'm playing hookey. It was kind of exciting to watch the storms build yesterday afternoon, to see the distant lightning and a huge spinning column of dust near Drop 8, then feel the heavy raindrops and hail come down. Today it's just dull, gray, anticlimactic, soppy wet, rainy rain. I'm staying inside the container, sorting and unpacking and watching movies. I don't feel like much. Not even two double espressos can rouse me.

I am counting the days until the WiFi antenna arrives.

Yesterday before the rains began I did manage to take a trip to Zendejas (True Value Hardware) in Calipatria for materials for a replacement shade awning for the kitchen. I got a 20' x 12' piece of heavy black nylon shde cloth, two 12' long 2x4's, and with a few items sitting around unused here in the shop, got the thing up and wind-tested before the heavy rains came. The stuff is great; wind barely fazes it.

Art supplies are overflowing in the outdoor workshop. I have to get busy making art in order to clean up.


2007.03.20.2153 thrashed

My bedroom took a good beating tonight. The westerly winds finally put the hurts on the lovely 16'x8' banner from the San Jose Museum of Art's "Family Legacy" exhibition, which had kept my bed shaded for weeks. Now it's trash. One of the cast double spring clips broke too. Wind is one tough motherfucker. Right when all hell was breaking loose with the bedroom shade structure, bright white tracer fountains poured out of two helicopters approaching from the Chocolate Mountain bombing range, like sparkly, shining portents of natural disaster. I did what any normal guy would do. I went to the hot spring and washed the fiberglass out of my skin.


2007.03.19.1638 torture

Calipatria library. Downloading monstrous jpgs from the Art Car Fest website, so that I can shrink them and put them back up. The problem is that the WiFi access here has been cut off during a county-wide automation upgrade, and these images have to be piped in through the painfully slow Sprint PCS data line on my Treo. Imagine spending nearly five hours downloading a dozen pictures. Serves me right for putting them up at the original resolution in the first place.

I ordered a fancy WiFi antenna today that should allow me to connect to Solar Mike's network just a scant 1/4 mile away from East Jesus, but it's backordered, so who knows how long I'll have to endure this torture?

Mr. God founded the East Jesus Zen Center and the East Jesus Zen Center Sculpture Garden a few days ago. New peeps in the neighborhood. Things continue to progress.


2007.03.16.2231 Dobbshead / horsefly

One: new water tank, 100 gal, $30, delivered with stand on semipermanent loan, filled for additional $13. Toyman be praised!

Two: WiFi within the Slabs chez Solar Mike. Just need a slightly fancy antenna to catch it all. $ free.

Three: getting used to everything going more or less the way I'd like it to. Frightening, really.

Four: new neighbors rebuilding Abandoned Camp Nr 1 from bits of Abandoned Camp Nr 2. Inspiring.

Five: scary-looking guy who walks his big dog across the wash every morning is surprisingly friendly and will be my neighbor for the summer.

Six: Mr. God is still the coolest campmate I have ever had, bar none. Art happens. So fast I can't even keep track. My output from here is already about triple what I cranked out in all of 2006. Scary.

Seven: I can only sleep fitfully, lightly, opening my eyes and seeing shooting stars. Well-rested nonetheless. And it's really hot.

Eight: I love you, whoever you are.


2007.03.15.0836 East Jesus progress report

I visited Leonard yesterday morning for the first time in several weeks, and asked him if there was anything I could help him with. "No thanks," he said, "I'm all set." Then he added, "I'm back to being a loner." So prehaps that engagement is over for good, or for another few weeks, or until he gets lonesome and desperate in the summer and realizes no man is an island again. Whatever the case may be, my solemn promise is to help him, and if he thinks the best way for me to do that is to leave him alone, that's what I'll do. But I'm certainly busy enough with my own projects.

Advisory: possibly Satanic images below.



2007.03.14.1400 beer trap

new rule: no beer until late afternoon. the beer trap is dangerous. it's early and it's getting hot. you're thirsty. the only refrigerated beverage you have is beer. yum. beer. drink. repeat. repeat. repeat. repeat. repeat. by the time the real killer heat of the day is upon you, you are completely dehydrated, woozy and drunk, and in a sudden World of Hurt.

it was actually becoming a problem that the Niland tap water, collected for free from behind the gas station, just doesn't taste very good when it's room temperature. luckily, the 25¢ per gallon reverse-osmosis stuff out of the machine is very drinkable when warm, so that's that. cranberry juice is good too. the tart, mild lemonade i had been drinking in the cooler weather didn't taste good anymore.

i have been cheerfully busy with things here in camp. stringing up more lights, making some adjustments to the shade tarps, making art (!) which will soon be up for sale (because I'm totally broke - dig deep, folks - you know you want it), collecting materials for the concrete + found stuff wall Mrs. God will hopefully assist me with when she arrives next week, unpacking, organizing, jerking off, and today, for a change, biking around. i finally discovered the Slab City Library, which is an absolute must-see if one ever has the chance to visit this place. it's just amazing and cute and elegant and magical and it's all made of junk and cracker ingenieuity and a surprisingly relevant book collection, probably larger than that of the Niland library. one dreams of setting up a good WiFi base there and taking it all to the next level.

well, it's about four minutes past two in the afternoon, and that beer is beginning to seem like a mighty fine idea. it's late afternoon already, right?



2007.03.10.2109 god hates kittens dot com



2007.03.09.1300 da hood

Mercury is out of retrograde. New proof that East Jesus is a self-organizing institution gaining momentum: Mr. God and entourage (Ty, Blaze, Becky) arrived yesterday afternoon as I was saying good-bye to Vieve at the Palm Springs airport. Plato seems to have recognized them as welcome guests and, instead of barking, just walked right over to them and made friends. Already a large junk tower of ferrous metals collected from the immediate vicinity is in the works. I have a desk/workstation and an electronics test bench inside the container now. Vieve made a lovely little grotto from rescued aloe plants and the things she finds on the ground, her keen eye sensitive to details that completely elude my perception.

I have been comissioned for the second time to make art with my firearms (thanks Rebl.) An old Compaq laptop needs a few holes blown through it. An anonymous young lady lends a skillful hand in this (below) - I love pictures of pinup chicks pointing guns at helpless consumer electronics.

I love sunsets too. Plenty of 'em out here.



2007.03.07.1042 bedroom


2007.03.07.1031 Genevieve at the Salton Sea


2007.03.07.1027 Rockette Bob - my new wife?

"Hello Mr. C....... c stands for clit-licker and cocksucker. if i was your wife, you would have to nibble on my 7 inch clitoris. it smells of treat potted meat, baby oil and is purple with veneral warts as pleasure bumps.i would have to be pampered. nice things from nice places. a respectable house in a good neighborhood. i would demand to be treated like a lady at all times. you would have to obey me at all times......

i do not think our marrage would last for long......

in el Centro there is a lot of trucking. my brother-in law drives. i think he and my sister fucked me out of my fathers will so i do not feel like giving them a call. there is so much farm equiptment laying around and lots of people who worship money. is nice and mild.snow on the ground but clear and warm.i have the world by the tail here. i watched peewee's adventure yesterday. i am very lucky.....................remember to be nice to whores....... boby red shirt


2007.02.27.2305 caravan redux 1

Noah Purifoy's sculpture envirnoment, Joshua Tree, CA.



2007.02.27.1751 slippery slack / Mercury retrograde

this is my container, full of my stuff on East Jesus soil:

how did it get here? let me tell you....

there's a new-ish website called, which attempts to answer the question, "how the hell am i going to get that live great white shark i just won on eBay from New Jersey to my home in Mogadishu?" they let shippers and logistics companies duke it out for your business by auctioning off your shipping job. mine was pretty straightforward: 27' ISO oversea shipping container full of personal effects from Oakland to Niland, CA, with offloading assistance requested. i got about five bids, all within what seemed to be the reasonable price range, and i picked the one who seemed the most flexible and willing to do a very simple and inexpensive albeit potentially disastrous offload. i didn't mind that his written English was, um, interesting. for example:


all caps are his, this is copied and pasted verbatim. Strong Bad would love this guy.


i figured what the hell and accepted his bid. he was very flexible with the schedule and sent one of his truckers right away to Oakland to pick up the container. he arrived punctually at both locations but wasn't really clear on the container-drop procedure, so we had to think of something really quick. sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and accept the deuce-sevens that Universe deals you, play them aggressively, and rake in a big pot. other peoples' screw-ups often invoke the potential for heroic inventiveness. i had a flash: the Coachella canal, only several hundred feet distant from East Jesus, is being completely redone, and there are all manner of big, huge, and ohmyfuckinggodgigantic pieces of equipment running up and down the county road from one drop to another. clutching at straws, but with a tiny spark of hope in my heart, i drove out with Carlos, my good trucker man, to drop 8 and asked the guys there if they might be able to help us offload the container. they seemed sympathetic, but no one wanted to risk their $100K job helping out a few ragamuffins from the Slabs. they did, however, mention that the foreman might give his OK, which would make it happen easily. we then drove to drop 9, asked another guy there, and he sounded much more optimistic, but we would still have to locate the foreman, who might be anywhere along this 30-mile stretch of road. we got lucky at drop 10. the foreman was sitting idly in his pickup truck, reading a magazine and munching on an apple. he was surprisingly young - mid-thirties, maybe - and, in his own sort of deadpan way, extraordinarily helpful. he said he'd take a look, so we led him to where the truck was parked, and then showed him where it was to be offloaded, and without a word he zipped off and returned ten minutes later with a forklift that could probably have hoisted my container ten stories high.

with little trouble, two complete strangers were taking care of a big problem for me. karmic? a funny little thing happened on my way back from Douglas: when the bus gave me trouble and i pulled into the rest area (see previous entry) there was an ancient RV there and hand-written signs on all the porta-potties about how this RV was stranded, needing mechanical attention. i decided that, if my problem was easily solved and without great expense, i would offer assistance to this broken-down fellow. it was, and i did. sometimes what goes around actually DOES come back around. it's important to help people when you can. especially out in the desert, where we're all just *that* much closer to the edge, each of us imperceptibly but profoundly close to sunstroke, dehydration and death. i tipped the foreman my last $100. "beer for the guys," he said, "thanks."

Carlos got stuck in the sand on his way out, so we drove around in search of our kindly foreman again. getting stuck out here is only embarrassing the first time. it happens to everyone. there are just weird sink holes and invisible changes in the consistency of the sandy soil, so even old-timers get stuck every once in a while, and people are generally quite helpful when it happens.

when i opened up (finally) the makeshift steel doors and peered inside the container, i found the contents in excellent shape. i wanted to dive right in and unpack, but the wind was blowing so hard it was just hopeless, so i just went into the bus and drank beer and listened to the radio. then i got cabin fever and drove into town and had a beer at the one bar Niland has, which turned out to be a brilliant idea. a little dive bar that time forgot, with inexpensive beer and homemade beef jerky, some antique bar lights and furniture, and a heavy calm bartender with lots of stories to tell.

when i got home i checked my email. i found a message from Jaime:

"Dear Charles. how do you want to used your visa you tell me how i never have used one to pay a transation like this. [SAD EMOTICON] sincerly      Jaime B.Lopez"

as Lorne said of our species, homo sapiens sapiens, one night last summer at Burning Man, "they're just monkeys.... cut 'em some slack."



2007.02.26.2003 lizard

when was it - a week and a half ago? - things were getting kind of frosty with Leonard. he'd dash off into town when i came to work, i'd dash off when he got back, we hadn't done anything together in what seemed like a long time. i was still cleaning up neglected corners and sorting through archival materials and treasure left to the elements. after a few days i met him in the morning and we sat together and had a talk. he said he was concerned that he was losing control of the Mountain. he also said he was concerned that i might be an agent of Satan. needless to say, my involvement with that project is sort of on hold. at least until Leonard no longer wakes up in the middle of the night, terrified that i am plotting to cover the mountain with skulls.

i did what any sane human being would do: i went on an art car caravan. want a trip report? damn, so much happened i've already forgotten most of it. in fast forward: Salton Sea engine running hot lost $200 at poker bought a new CB drove at night to Joshua Tree Wal-Mart parking lot met a new friend next morning Integratron Purifoy Indian Cove campground then drive through park to Cottonwood oasis, hit I-10 towards Phoenix again a Wal-Mart parking lot Mr. Lee's Rock Garden then Picacho Peak State Park for the night, caught up with the rest of the gang in Tucson at the Congress, drove to Bisbee for Gretchen's wonderful party then Douglas for three nights, movies and dinners and little trips and some really cold nights and lots of Mexican food, drove out first on return trip to Chiricahua National Monument then blasted all the way to Yuma when the GEN light on the dash came on, checked to make sure it wasn't the fan belt, fan belt OK, so i drive another 14 miles to the noisy and smelly rest area at the Algodones Dunes, fixed the problem first thing in the morning (one wire from the generator to the regulator had freed itself), made it back to East Jesus without further trouble, made camp and greeted the remaining art car crew, who left this morning. there was a little lizard inside the old gas can Philo and I fired 20 rounds through this morning - poor little thing survived all that without a scratch but is probably deaf and traumatized.

the container is on its way and that's pretty much all i can think about. expected to arrive a little after 10am tomorrow morning. it is windy. it will be windy tomorrow. i am having tooth pain.


2007.02.13.1907 Rockette Bob sings Free Bird

  " ..............BEAVER-DAM-BLOCKAGE.................

her hands were around my neck for the second time

this week. i awoke one evening with her head nestled in my armpit. the pile of hammers and saws were covered by a blanket and used as a pillow. a room of stuff for the recyclers............did you figure a way to get that container to the slabs??? will it show up magic-ly, behind an art car caravan??? i dreamt of my grandmothers new inground swimming pool being filled up with water too cold to swim in. i rode my mini bike on the freeway to get help. it was 1965...................freeeeeeeeeeeee----------bird...................."


2007.02.13.1838 three ghosts at sunset


2007.02.11.2207 Slab City Gun Club - Firearms for Art and God

when you die, everything you own immediately turns into junk. the extended phenotype: house of a caddisfly, a beaver dam, an old desert dweller's trailer ripped to shreds hours after his death (cirrhosis of the liver) by scrappers - trash everywhere, scraps of porn and fiberglass blowing in the wind and a CB antenna suddenly available for $40. camped nearby, dangerously close to the edge of a deep wash, i watch cars come and go, hauling pieces of some human's former life away.

there was heavy bombing in the chocolate mountains last night - bright flashes followed by infrasonic reports approximately 12 seconds later. over at the range, insane wayne sang Free Bird while i stayed home and indulged heavily in red wine and chocolate by campfire.

this is my container, with all my stuff inside, tucked away in a lot someplace in west oakland. i wish it were here.


2007.02.05.2207 escape from NIMBY

made it out - just the VW engine, the variac rectifier and the table supporting my laptop as i write have yet to be carted off to the container. it's been an awfully long day, a good 12 hours of humping heavy stuff from point A to point B in a 10' U-Haul box truck (note: U-Haul generally sucks monkey butt, but can actually be the best deal for local quickies if you're careful. for most rental trucking situations, Penske is the way to go.) tomorrow i will turn in my NIMBY key after 25 months of tenantship. it's been a very interesting little chapter in my life, and i learned a lot here: avoid fuck-ups, avoid tweekers, avoid moochers and slackers and most importantly, avoid Oakland. yes, i picked up a few skills along the way too, and finally admitted to myself that all i really want to do is art.

Roger around the corner has been of enormous service to me. he sold me the container for $100, is now graciously allowing me to leave it on his property full of my stuff for another few weeks as necessary, and has offered some solid advice. i had thought any truck capable of carrying the container would require a CDL, which i don't have, but he kindly informed me that it could be put onto a 20' flatbed that i could drive myself. so, i may in fact be driving the thing down to Niland after all, probably saving nearly a grand in the process. thanks!


2007.02.04.1001 truck flake

the trucker i hired to do this move (pick up 27' container, drive it a few blocks to NIMBY, help load my stuff into it, then drive it to Niland) has COMPLETELY FLAKED OUT on me. the trouble began yesterday when he tried to pass me off onto another company he had heretofore referred to as his partner. this new company wanted to charge nearly twice as much. of course i was not amenable to this, and insisted that he come through with the deal we had agreed to in writing over a week ago. he stalled, neglected to return calls, and generally proved himself completely untrustworthy. so here i am in Oakland, all my ducks in a row, unable to get my sorry arse transported to my new home. on top of that, i'm nursing a pulled muscle from a hairy VW engine rescue operation

i am doing what any sensible human being would do: taking the day off. i'll work the phones tomorrow. screw it. this is gonna wind up costing me more than i even have, but money grows on trees, doesn't it? watch a movie, take Plato to dwoggie park, you know...maybe eat some ice cream.

hot tip: the Pak'N'Save at 40th and San Pablo in Emeryville has Pabst Blue Ribbon on sale, $5 per case.

know any good trucking companies?


2007.02.03.1010 Rockette Bob on the Stupor Bowl

  "NO PEDICAB.....tommorow is the STUPOR BOWL..... the black label bike club is having a party. double-decker bikes jousting. perhaps it will be at the event. some low life might have it. kinda hard to hide it for long here in reno . at over 200 pounds, it took a truck or trailer to get it out of the neighborhood.... perhaps it belongs to a burner in another city. they are soooo is kinda nice to see it gone. one less thing to work on or worry about.

a 600 dollar bad dream.........

FREAK OUT IN A MOONAGE DAYDREAM !!!!!!!!!!!......... ziggy-bob-dust"


2007.02.02.2026 myspace

for the love of can you people STAND it?.....more ads and audio and video assaults on the unsuspecting newcomer than any non-porn site i've ever visited......just why i left Tribe only MUCH worse......ACK!.......i feel dirty all BURNS.......please help....get it OFF of me.......


2007.02.02.1920 Rockette Bob writes...

  "Hello Charlie..... i am not a visionary. i am not an orignial thinker. i think Leonard and Slim were the kinda guys, from another generation, who got out and did things without aproval from the "mundanes". it seems to me, there were more of those kind of people in the past. i kinda think the television and media has had a part in this.

i remember in the film that david bowie's character was drinking alcohol and thinking about his family that was die-ing of thirst on another planet.

booze dehydrates......... i stayed close to salvation mtn. for over three months. i was always amazed to hear Leonards tractor start at dawn. his strength is awsome. he enjoys what he does. his vision keeps him going, when others would say stop..............i left the slabs to go to texas . i met up with you. we went to marfa. i had realized i needed a place, if i wanted to make things without interuptions. i had a house in reno for over 9 years that allowed me to work on things in my own way while working to make money and collecting rents. that was the past. i wanted to see a place for people to work together. i was hope-ing that the art car and burningman people were interesed it the same things, but found out that it is not as easy to work with people as i had belived. i came back to reno , bought a trailer, and decided not to chase the art cars around the country. i had come to realize that nothing was gonna happen with Slim in goldfield and i was not his driver or, here i am in reno with broken and missing stuff........... i admire what you are doing. niland is not n.y.c. or the bay area, i had a fellow help me fix a garage door on a storage unit i rent. it is nice to see a job completed. i have thrown some things away and am sorting others. i cleaned out my travel trailer. the truck is next. i got the carb fixed this last month. maybe if the truck is emptyed out it will run better........... please keep your blog updated. where will you drop your container??? the world wants to know. at least i do!!!...... hopefully Leonard has a lot more time here. everyday is a gift. i was joking with Slim one day and he was gone the next. do you keep another diary. i tried to record Slim and i on our travels but it didnt work so well. i kept no notes. kinda a shame. now i can't reconstruct adventures or conversations......... have a good night. drink some of that cheep-ass beer for me........bob"


2007.02.02.1859 here

done packing, i grabbed a folding table, office chair, computer and periphery, space heater and a string of lights and set up shop temporarily in the Promised Land, the 40' container on the second level of NIMBY I lived, loved, worked and relaxed in before moving to Niland. the place keeps calling me back, like a seductive ghost of winds. i want to sit here, taking in memories and the views out onto the adjoining warehouse space of Broadway Mechanical - pipes stacked neatly on pallets and braces, mercury vapor lamps always on, tall brick walls and railroad tracks. there are railroad tracks everywhere in this part of town, snaking and winding into virtually every building. when i was a teenager i had a special admiration for the railroad, as it seemed to be the only technology designed to last forever.

as usual in this metropolis, there are more things to do on this friday night than one could possibly pursue - a friend is performing, some other friends are burning a replica of a replica, yet another has a birthday, still more i haven't heard from probably want to see me. i find myself just wanting to sit here quietly in this room, alone, carefully peeling off layers of my memory and savoring them, swallowing them, allowing them to dissolve into homeostasis. at the same time, my thoughts are back in Niland, a week or so into the future.

i've been reading a little through the bible and still find it a grossly convoluted, antiquated menagerie of crap. but leonard found a few diamonds in the mine, and i can't help thinking there are still one or two left, for all intents and purposes forgotten, waiting to be dug up.


2007.02.01.1932 pectochloraline meatspace

two places at once - two places at once - two places at once.

i am fumbling through a backlog of email and online chores i can hardly believe are mine. could this pile have formed after only two weeks of being more or less offline? have i been pulled so deeply back into meatspace that the glowing screen could have become a menacing gateway to a future that no longer wants me? yes, and yes. this warehouse is cold and the people here are sickly. the neighborhood is unfriendly. this place is badly polluted.

i want my desert back. i want my open skies, my weather, my creosote bushes, my lonesome, distant train whistle and the Mountain. fuck this place.

soon, soon enough.


2007.02.01.1902 godwink / futureshock / roadtrip zwei

pack up / strike / prepare / two vehicles stuck / tractorpulled out / warm sunny day / threat of rain / this is god's plan / this is my plan / this is god's plan / this is our plan / high desert cold / i've been here before / sunset at Kramer Junction / must find lower ground / birthday presents outside Bakersfield / smartwool socks / rest area sleeptime / devolved monsters looking on in suspicion / this is god's plan / tears are flowing as i say your name / christian radio in Spanish / they've all got it wrong / they've all got it wrong / this was not your plan / this was not your plan / here for a few days / weird humidity and haze / learning to spall / whatever might work / these are my plans / i must get back to work


2007.01.24.2006 road trip

Just got back from a three-day road trip to Oakland, the purpose of which was to buy a 27' x 8' x 9' insulated shipping container (thanks Snook) and, if possible, load it up with the remainder of my belongings and arrange for it to be brought down here to East Jesus. I got said container for $100, which is unbelieveable, really, but weirder things have happened. Lately things just seem to go my way as if by magic. Perhaps I've finally lowered my standards enough?? ;-) While I was in the neighborhood I got a little quality time in with good friends, especially Cherry, and worked a full day with Tom of AIP Engineering, which was mostly wiring. He's taking a homebrewed sensor- and data-logging-system to Malawi, as part of an engineering project to dramatically enhance the efficiency of wood-burning tobacco kilns. Weeks ago I actually considered going to Malawi myself when the offer came my way, but it conflicted too painfully with my efforts here in Imperial County (and paid the proverbial "squat.") So, two long days behind the wheel, plus 7.5 hours working -and- making all the arrangements for the final move out of NIMBY made for a very full schedule. I can't remember a single time in my life I was happier to be home than tonight, under the stars on a small patch of sandy earth in the middle of nowhere, listening to Thursday Afternoon by Brian Eno and working on my second can of Milwaukee's Best. I know, I know...but they don't even sell decent beer around these parts.

On my way north I took some chances and got lost a few times just for the sake of exploration of the Salton Sea region. By accident I passed Bottle Forest near Oro Grande, CA, as evidenced by the photos above.


2007.01.19.1621clouds, rain

when your everyday weather experience is sunshine, overcast skies and light rain bring a strange and welcome beauty to the desert. the light play over the chocolate mountains this morning was breathtaking. so was the model (above right) who posed in several skimpy outfits at various corners of the Mountain for a magazine article while i cleared the last bits of wood, metal, plastic, broken tools, straw, adobe flowers, oil and paint from the enormous rubbish pile behind the Museum in order to make way for an abundance of hay bales. the scent of sage saturates the air at some crucial intersection of temperature and humidity, though i have yet to see it anywhere.

i am ready to begin Secret Project B, Plan A. today i acquired a 5-lb hammer and a crudely formed masonry chisel from an absent vendor at the niland swap meet. stay tuned.

have i mentioned that i really, really like camping out as opposed to improved shelter living? that i adore living and working under the open sky, breathing fresh air and bathing in a hot spring? that physical labor combined with art is making me feel completely balanced? nah, i've been to busy cheekily bitching about weird shit because that seems more interesting. sorry. there's a lot of good here, too.

a note to potential visitors: please, please, please love god in your own way and let me do the same. don't ask me if i read the bible -- of course i do, every day! the scriptures are everywhere! jesus is not a brand name or something you wear. jesus is not wonder bread. i love god and i volunteer my time -- my life -- to the ongoing construction and preservation of Salvation Mountain, and that doesn't mean i will politely suffer your narrow-minded literalist monologues and feeble spiritual platitudes and no, i will not go with you to church (and neither will Leonard, for that matter.) as someone (gandhi, i think) once said, "i love your christ but his followers frighten me." i love the jesus who brought down the temple - the fightin' jesus - the one who drank wine and hung out with prostitutes and whose heart was full of doubt all the way to the very end - not your plastic wonder bread jesus of tape-recorder salvation dished out by some smoove-talkin' preacher man on TV. god bless you just the same.

2007.01.18.1944 bandwidth

it's a perfectly American experience. you go with a friend to Costco (he has a card, you don't. not anymore. you used to. you had an executive membership. you spent so much there your annual refund checks were around $300. that was when you had money, or pretended to. you went bankrupt. no more Costco.) you buy only the bare necessities: a case of ramen, a gallon of lemon juice, a case of low-carb Tweeker Piss ®, and LED rope lights. the rope lights set you back half a c-note, which is what the average Slabber spends on food in a month. then you find your way to the Imperial County Center in El Centro, navigate to suite 205, and apply for food stamps.

you fill out the forms, and them in, and sit down to wait. for how long? they won't tell you. you hear babies crying. it smells of the domesticated descendents of arboreal apes. after an hour a security guard, probably not yet old enough to visit a "gentlemen's club," asks you if the ammunition glued to your car is live, because if it is, you are in violation of one of those silly laws that prohibits firearms or pepper spray or ammunition within so-and-so many feet of a public building. you tell him it's dead, null, no propellant inside, or something to that effect. he gives you a long look and goes away.

you've now been waiting for three hours. you can see about fifteen people still waiting whom you're sure you saw on your way in. you decide that starving to death would be somehow preferable to this, and go out to your moving violation plastered with live ammo and brave the El Centro rush hour.

while you were gone, 300 hay bales have been delivered to your next-door neighbor's visionary art site. great, you think, a whoopload of building materials. hoo-ray. but there's a hitch: they have been unloaded in a manner that prevents any progress whatever until they've been removed. you began two days ago clearing out a space for them to go, hoping in the case of your absence all involved would see the wisdom of putting them in a place where they'd only have to be moved once, not twice or more. as usual, your hopes go unfulfilled. you roll up your sleeves to help get them out of the way.

but the weather is kind. the citrus-freezing silliness is past now, and today the sun is warm and bright and gentle, and there are other things to do. you try calling a friend, but your cell connectivity is frustratingly intermittent. you call your provider to complain about this, argue with an idiotic voice recognition system until it puts you through to a human, who seems to want to help you but fails to call back when the inevitable call drop interrups your dialogue. you drive into town to milk the library's wifi. it's slow today.

you crave bandwidth.



2007.01.13.2043 saturday night in the Slabs

It's 38 degrees, breezy, and 8:30 pm feels like after hours here. Railroad ties burn in 50-gallon drums, warming the audience of five - wait - two, myself included. Thick, greasy slices of White Rabbit accent House of the Rising Sun, with a Ring of Fire thrown in for flavor. This is a living museum; a chapter of Faulknerian Americana you just can't get anywhere else. This is where the L.A. hipsters come slumming (when the weather's good), where that arrogant Mendocino dickhead with a CCW permit -- infamous for assaulting unflattering film critics -- what's his name? -- shot scenes for his soon-to-be-released motion picture In The Wild. This is THE RANGE. Amen, brother. Pass the blackberry brandy. Wake up and smell the creosote. I tossed a fiver into the donation box, figuring this night would cause 1/20th of a statistically frostbit digit for those performing.


2007.01.13.1822 East Jesus tonight

Leonard seems to trust me. We work well together. I am being very careful to keep my ego away from the Mountain -- to simply serve as an extension of his will in its construction. His enthusiasm seems to grow daily, though such a thing seems impossible. Every single bucketfull of adobe, every straw bale, every shovelfull of debris removed fills him with a genuine and thoroughly contagious joy. The simple truth of rubbing adobe into the straw thirty feet up, near a self-forming apex, or packing in a window, or figuring out our next move, discussing every minute detail until a perfectly parallel, holographic understanding of exactly what it is we're doing blossoms between us, brings with it a surprisingly deep satisfaction, as if every single moment, every single step up the ladder, and every word exchanged are of some universal importance. As days pass, I find myself slipping into his identity in a way that Sapolsky describes in one of his articles. It's the experience of the self as bound to something transgenerational; works accomplished over the course of plural lifetimes, as if the work itself were the living organism changing vessels to suit its survival. This is virtually anathema to contemporary America, but it's nothing new to homo sapiens sapiens. It is the very essence of technology.

Thanks and deep bows to Mark Peterson for the photo (more to come.)


2007.01.13.1800 Rockette Bob has an erotic dream

"i am glad you are having a great time with your project. i saw the post about the caravan to douglas and just thought you were being ignored for some paranoid reason. i gave a lot of ideas to b-man that were acomplished but got no credit for them or help when i need it. PARANOA...i know it and i got it......late night radio adds to it...............i got my new room and paid off some money i owed and have extra money now. i am manic sometimes and want things to happen at once. i am working on things here now, but am looking to make a change to a place where things do not get fucked with so much..........i had one girlfriend, who when i went down on her, would moan "" you cocksucker, you cocksucker, you cocksucker,"" over and over and over. another called her clit her mini penis........ i had an erotic dream the other night about n-----. when i rubbed her skin it would bleed. that was fine. very fluid like david bowie in the man who fell to earth. but when we deep kissed,dirty-fried-rice was exchanged between us. the next day i realized they were magots. this all took place in a convention center where many other art-car artists were in thier own work stations like us. dead in hell ??? i just don't is fucking cold here also.......if leonard remembers me, tell him hello.......take care and don't shoot at those fuckers on your spot....bob"


2007.01.10.0925 gargoyle

each change of site brings with it a new, unexpected confrontation with some subtle, invisible Gods. Each patch of earth here has its own mojo, unlike any other place i've been in terms of unseen diversity...

dream - my penis is shaped like a gargoyle, with winglike protruberances and fins and sub-penises along the underside of the shaft, all quite firm but yielding, like gel rubber. Upon awakening I found it strange to have a simple, tubular phallus.

slept in this morning, recall waking several times during the night and feeling very cold if all of me wasn't covered by the sleeping bag - my hands still get stiff and painful when I sleep, even though work on the Mountain doesn't arouse my manual neuropathy, which seems to be getting better. My skin is drying terribly, particularly my hands (i suspect from so much exposure to clay) and feet. I took a long walk to the deep wash west of here to poop - any closer and I'd be scrutinized by neighbors. I think I will try making fertilizer out of my own shit and ashes from the firepit and compostables, stirring it up often and letting the sun hit it hard. I'd like to start a succulent garden, which could easily be watered with the relatively clean water I throw away (ice melt, etc). But why start a garden here? I need the tanks....

got the stereo installed, but I had to go to town for crimp connectors cuz somehow I left mine, plus the fancy crimper, in my toolbox back at NIMBY. It actally sounds good for $80 and all the damn features it has. Haven't played with the radio functions yet, but there ain't much airwaves out here. No ground loop hum upon plugging the Zen jukebox into the inverter, either, which makes for headache free listening.
I dined this morning on the cooked crab legs Amacker sent up with Mona, presumably for my birthday. Yum. I'm feeling better after coffee and the warmth of day and things accomplished. I sense my immune system is facing some novel fiends and doing its quick-adaptive thing. The acclimatizing process is complex. I am definitely losing weight.

lots of things going bad today... The ghee burned, Plato was a nuisance at Leonard's mountain, I got visited by normals, I got stuck in sand on my way to town (glad to have my little handy-dandy inflatotron), and I've had a nasty cold all day. I spent several slow, frustrating hours getting the change of address ball rolling, got angry a lot. Good things happened too, of course, and I am just so much closer to heaven now. I probably got way too much UV on top of that, and it hit about 79 degrees today. Will I make it through the summer if 80 feels like hell? Sheesh. What the fuck have I gotten myself into....again?

There was another explosion today in the gunnery range. And some interesting helicopters over the Slabs. I have the runniest nose ever and just want to wake up well.


2007.01.05.2011 wind

it was windy today so i did driving errands...drove to Calipatria, then Brawley, then El Centro...wind and dust...wind and dust...when the wind blows there is only wind...miles of flat expanse and brick-red air...i inhale my ancestors, the clay of the mountains, the dessicated fecum of desert life and criminals...Wal-Mart in an enormous mall, made surreal by the dust culture shock...everything inside screams at me to buy it...i become dizzy and disoriented...first the ammo and Break Free...then a new car stereo (bleeding edge $80 model with USB and memory card ports, aux in jack)...pepcid for the stomach acid that comes up occasionally to remind me that i am an aging drunkard...a wall paint...batteries...emergency propane...then food -- i fill the shopping cart like a crazed survivalist, convinced the few pennies in savings will allow me to live just 24 hours -- 24 precious hours -- longer...outside more wind and more dust and a dead starter battery...left the headlights on...i go back inside the Wal-Ma-Plex, air conditioned and full of zombies narcotized by the immediate satisfaction of their collective consumer reflex...grab a $70 jumpstarter-inflator-light-inverter and begin charging it...a guy fresh out of jail decides i'm the one to whom he will offer twenty dollars to drive him to Bombay Beach, a town that was literally devoured by the toxicity of the Salton Sea...he reeks of Ten High and has fuck-up written all over him...after dark i watch a movie about a reterded killer who reads the bible and, at last freed from the mental hospital, returns to the world, gets a job, makes friends and kills again...when the wind blows there is only wind...and dust...days ago at the post office a kindly stranger warned me, "there is evil here..."


2007.01.04.2117 Rockette Bob after four meetings

"HOBO CHANG BA, HOBO CHANG BA, HO-BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. nothin like a good prime rib dinner with too much wine in a nice quiet dinner house. especially after attending 4 A.A. meetings......... you kinda look like a happy budda in your c.charm. or a bad poker player with a good hand..........jan elfman is having a birthday party in minn . with bowling balls in the washing machine as the entertainment. i would like to just ride my bike on over, but the snow storm here has put a damper on it........i am glad you are not answering your phone. i think in the desert that is an important part of living................take care....bobster"


2007.01.04.2055 two bales

7:27 am - went to bed about 6:30 last night, right after sunset. It was a dark night - no computer, no generator, and I had some catching up on sleep to do. My neighbor hung out by my trash fire and cooked his hot dogs. I am going to have my coffee and walk over to the Mountain and paint this morning...skies are full of low, thin cumulus...wanna check the weather...

11:47 am - got one hay bale and eight buckets of adobe up to a very tricky peak this morning. We began with one of those scaffold/ladders that had a broken axle lock and was thus REALLY dangerous (it began buckling right as I put my weight on it on the way *down* - not a happy feeling), but soon saw the wisdom of moving one of the good ladders over and hitting another patch for ascent. I finally decided to break camp over by the tanks, get away from the kidz once and for all and come over a little closer to the Mountain - not too close, but close enough to be readily available and dash home for water or coffee in just a minute. I have a lovely view of the mountain as well as the rubbish pile, which perhaps I can make into art somehow.
It took me more time to take down all the lights I had strung up on the mesquite tree as the entire remainder of the camp strike. I was pleased to get it done rather quickly, and also pleased that the Charm started right up. I really should exercise it once in a while. I think I'll go camp out by the Salton Sea once in a while and spend the odd weekend in Joshua Tree or one of the nearby casinos.

1:41 pm - went into town for water, caught the Imperial Bus Line at the stop and got a schedule from the driver. I had thought there was no public trans here, but it's really hard to imagine with all the low-income families. I must remeber to carry my PDA with me whenever I go into town - information is key. Imperial County Sherrif's phone numbers, library open hours, etc.
I drove out toward the Salton Sea, but discovered only marshes with tall rushes and a tiny inlet at the end of Beach Rd. There are lots of little hunters' areas with shitters and trash cans, $2.50 a day unless you have a hunting license. That'd be a fine place to go hide. Plenty of ducks, too.
There's an antique jailhouse right next to the Sheriff's office (unoccupied) in town...the more I drive through Niland the more abandoned buildings I see, and the more houses I notice are up for sale - at least a third of them. This really is a ghost town. But there are some friendly ghosts here.
It's not even 2pm and I feel like I'm ready for bed. I am on my second can of Milwaukee's Best.
I'm beginning to feel sort of safe driving away from camp, leaving Plato in charge. I think being so close to the Mountain is an enhancement to security, but I don't want to nurture any tenuous feelings of safety. I feel a bit more relaxed about keeping the XD loaded and ready inside the bus...


2007.01.02.2222 Rockette Bob on things you want & need

"Hello mr.C..... it is a nice warm night here in reno . the moon is getting full. i guess we are 91.4 million miles from the sun...... niland is much closer,but it seems about as far as the many bussiness were closed in rememberance of gerald ford and james brown. it is the day before my government (mark of the beast) check. so i had no cash and took my salvaged metal materals to the scrap yard. they were closed. being a cofee / wine addict i knew i was in trouble. i rode my fully loaded bicycle to the triangle A.A. club. i know those people have coffee. once inside i realized it was my dear dead fathers birthday also.he had been in the program over 20 years.i enjoyed the cofee and the talk and thought nice thoughts about my pop. i went to the soup kitchen and frank the cab driver had to hit a court ordered meeting. so i went again. a very nice day. well, the sun goes down and now i want booze. not any drink, but red wine. i have plenty of high test stuff, but no wine. i asked 2 mini-marts for an advance, but you can hear their replys. cash is king !!!!...........addicts will do most anything for the fix. today i am not drinking................some of the other things they alway say is---let go and let god. i am unable to get things to niland. have you asked around for the use of a truck??? i checked u-haul. it is about 900 bucks for a one way to calipatria from reno.out of my ability. there is a bolt of red cloth that weighs about 200 pounds in my shed.(tents, fence, flags or diapers) tiles. tools.camping equiptment. household items.odd ball stuff. two 10x 20 garages. anyone with a truck or money getting excited about your project??? the travel trailer would be a nice thing as it has a swamp cooler and cook stove........are you gonna stay the summer ???................two churches in east jesus. the church of the chocolate martini. the church of broken toys. i am sure many others would show up. your web site looks great.......................if you can borrow money on a card, i can make payments. perhaps some sort of paperwork defining respons-abiltys of both partys. l.l.c. fuck, who wants to help........tomorrow i am rich.bills and a place indoors. i plan on buying a calling card just so i can hear your sweet voice........any of your friends in the bay area own a truck and planning on being down for your birthday??? if you could get here with one, you could pick the items you want. just loading stuff would be a lot of time and work. has anyone offered shipping containers???.............have you got the poop on people who show up with a lot of stuff and plan to stay??? what about altering those tanks. building inspectors always mess with me.......  goodnight...robert" 


2007.01.02.1752 iraq

10:41 am - I dreamt I was in Iraq right before a new kind of shit was to hit the fan. The sky overhead was perpetually slate grey and dark, with black clouds so saturated they would suddenly flow toward the earth in globular fingers like wax in a lava lamp (just like the clouds I saw once in Vegas, only much faster). Oil is everywhere and it's leaving its mark on everything it touches. I am with some American company. A few twenty-somethings fresh out of Ivy League, naive to the danger or at least in extreme denial. There is surveillance everywhere and I observe as the others in the compound are doing strange things with their bodies to evade the watchful eyes in the hills and the sky. We are attacked by angry locals with cheap automatic weapons. It's entirely unclear what they want from us. I am beaten a little but somehow manage to overhwelm the aggressors and get my XD (annoyed with myself that it wasn't loaded and ready in the first place). We have to get out fast. Can't tell which way to go...


2007.01.01.1900 hipster yahoos in my backyard / enter the Gods

I hope they clean up their toilet paper streamers and beer cans. Goddam kids. Poor desert etiquette, mediocre music, and they seem to think they own the place. On the bright side, though, they painted a huge projection screen onto the enclosed tank on the hill, exactly as I had planned to do someday for drive-in style movie nights at East Jesus.

The hitchhikers from and the train-hopping kids now on their way to Quartzsite were fine company. Annique made a costume out of an old Disney book full of kodachrome pictures and a white dress (below) that, sadly, was not ready for prime time. I spent about an hour at the Range, where a young man went into an apparent diabetic shock and no one with a cell phone could get through to 911, which was infuriating. A number of Slabbers I met back in 2002 on my first visit here still recognized me. It's an interesting crowd out there. Leonard is getting totally slammed with visitors at Salvation Mountain, so work there has ground to a halt. Most people probably assume Leonard is a bit of an extrovert, but actually the opposite is true, and he finds dealing with lots of people very tiring, as do I.

A few days ago a couple introducing themselves as Mr. & Mrs. God came to visit. Somehow they found me and East Jesus through the internet. Very interesting, talented people as it turned out, and there may be a little East Jesus in their future. Their estimable web presence is here:

There's almost too much serendipity here. I feel like I'm on a collision course with some heavy mojo - the good kind.


2007.01.01.1804 Rockette Bob in the bushes

  Hey Charlie.... i once lived behind the bush, across from the telephone pole at the entrance to east jesus. that is the place that i heard god proclame " poison" as i cooked cofee on my baby-oil-lotion powered hobo stove. the sheriff woke me up one evening and ran a warant search in that same location. i enjoyed that spot a great deal.....i saw a web site for a hitchhickers new years party in slab city.the range had a new years gala when i lived there, but i had a quiet time by myself. i met many people at the slabs but remained a loner.......i think this new years eve will be another quiet one for me. i hope you are having a good time and your project is getting some attention. it is so hard for me to get out of my present situtation.broken machinery, limited income and the social service network keep me in the downtown reno area...................i will not be able to view your blog untill the 3rd or 4th. please keep it updated.....................................................................have a happy new year and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!.....bob.............p.s. this panhandler i know who does well told me.. the open mouth is the one who gets fed..he is in jail right now for shoplifting


2006 archive

asynchronology II ( blog)





ch@5t3Ru5 >> asynchronology