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Wednesday, August 24, 2016


        I'm going to a 9-day festival in a few days. "Burning Man" takes place in the Nevada desert that has triple-digit temperatures. If you're feet aren't covered, you'll have burning feet.

   You need special footwear , shoes that will be kind to your doggies while looking outrageous at the same time.  I found mine at "Out of the Closet", a Berkeley thrift shop. My Michael Jordan's, (size 17) are the largest and ugliest shoes I have ever encountered. 
    They set me back five bucks.

    When I showed them to my god-granddaughter she exclaimed, "Wow, clown shoes!". She was kind enough to model them for me.

   If the Burning Man wore burning shoes they'd probably look like this.
Mine had several images of Leaping Man on them so

I replaced them with symbol of the one that burns.

   I sent my wife a photo of them (she's back in Miami now) and Francesca replied, "They're perfect for you and your B-Man adventure. Just don't bring them home".
    Will anyone need a pair of clown shoes next month?     __________________________________________

     PARTY 24/7 IN A 747!

   I hear some pretty outrageous things happen at the annual B-Man art festival.  I'm heading to my first one on Friday. This year one artist
is turning a 747 into a party venue. 
   He had house movers truck it in pieces to the 
Nevada desert festival site.

    It is being assembled there now.  The Grove Guy will do his best to report on this and all other  burning news when the festival begins on Sunday.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


     We arrived in San Francisco too late for the naked parade. The day before forty people had taken to the streets wearing nothing but shoes and sunglasses.
 Previously I had been thinking  the King Mango Strut was the weirdest parade in the universe.

    Turns out, the birthday suiters were protesting new city laws limiting public nudity.  "What's this city coming too?",  grumbled marcher, Dave Price,  who was interviewed in the street wearing nothing but a hat. He added, "This place is becoming just like Milwaukee".  *

    *  In prudish Milwaukee they have law that says, "It is illegal walk down the street naked."                            _______
     I think the whole bunch of them should move to Miami.  Who wants to march naked in the cold? Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."

   We chose to bundle up and enjoy SF MOMA (the San Ffrancisco Museum of Modern Art). Here are a couple of things we saw


plus the world's reddest bathroom.

   Later, we crossed the Bay Bridge to lunch with Grove artists, Cynthia Shelley and Terry Ferrer, in  Berkeley. Every summer they come here to escape the Miami heat.
    We then met Francesca's sister, Carmen, to  shop at our favorite food place, Berkeley Bowl (a converted bowling alley).

It's produce section is as big as the whole interior of a South Florida Publix.


 There were 27 varieties of apples for sale.  One was pink in the outside. Another was pink on the inside!

                                                Bundled up in the hills of Berkeley, sisters.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016



    In 2004, Burning Man co-founder, Larry Harvey, wrote ten principles that reflected what his festival's culture had come to be. The world might be better if more of us followed these "rules".

Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to
create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others.
In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation.
We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience. 


     Everyone that attends the festival (it begins in ten days) is asked to follow these rules.  It'll be something to see the world through Burning Man's eyes.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


    Burning Man is the coolest festival in the universe. Every year 70,000 celebrants gather in the Nevada desert to create a city from sand.

It is an incredible experiment in community and art. Since it began thirty years ago, I have always wanted to go.
            At the end of every festival, the man is burned

    It is difficult to get a $400 ticket. I lost in last May's ticket lottery but last month, I got lucky. A friend's friend found one. I will be joining a group that produces visual art for the 8-day event.

     There is nothing for sale at Burning Man. Everyone is expected to practice "radical self-reliance" bringing everything they need. I just started a shopping list.
     There are no spectators at the festival.  Everyone performs, everyone shares, and burners
are costumes in radical ways.  Here are photos from previous events,



 I was visiting my brother, Bruce, in San Luis Obispo yesterday. We went Burning Man shopping looking like this. 

     When we got home we looked somewhat different.

The man burns in 22 days.
                                                        I'm excited.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


      People reading this journal often write things like, "Lucky you. I wish I could  see Yosemite". Well, what's stopping you?  It's all there, five hours from San Francisco.
   Drive up to the gate and hand the ranger $25. Its your ticket to Magic Land. If that seems too difficult, simple take The Tortoise.

    I discovered Green Tortoise Bus Tours in the 1970's. My buddy Tom took one to Mexico and had a great time. He explained, "It's an adventure for hippies with no money. We traveled in an old school bus. The seats had been replaced with mattresses. It was terrific, a rolling 6-day party".
     I hadn't thought of communal travel for forty years until I saw my first Green Tortoise bus in a Yosemite campground two weeks ago.  The days of the hippie buses are over. The vehicle looked big and comfortable. It's thirty inhabitants were sitting in the shade, a wide variety of ages, energy levels, and nationalities.

     They were traveling together for threes days.  Their tour included Yosemite National Park and  amazing places nearby. Their driver, Ollie, explained that they ate communally (he was the head chef) and slept either on the bus, in tents, or under the stars. Most of the folks were traveling solo, their ages ranged was 19 to 74.  This excursion, which included transportation, room and board, and park admission fees, costs about $350.  Most of their tours begin in San Francisco.
  Ollie invited us to come on board. We could see how the seats converted into 36 bunks.  Much of the long distance travel is done at night while everyone sleeps.
 The bus had a bathroom as well. It is small but Ollie explained there are regular stops for snacks and the use of public bathrooms.
     On this trip you could swim in June Lake (south of Yosemite), Mono Lake,
 or the Tuolomme River.

Taking the tortoise could be your best chance to go down roads you might not otherwise travel.

     The Tortoise Tours look like great fun and are priced at half of what such a trip would otherwise cost. Ollie told us the company has nine buses.  
Five of them are taking 160 people to Burning Man at the end of the month.
    You can ride the turtle to tour Alaska, Mexico, or travel cross-country. Most of their excursions are the western states, they have the highest concentration of fantastic places.
    It seems just right for any age, anyone who doesn't mind sleeping in a tent for a few nights. One of the backpackers told me, "Why go on a vacation when you can go on an adventure?  It's terrific, I've made so many new friends".  
   If this sounds good to you check out . Lucky you, it might be your ticket to Yosemite and beyond.

         Another tour,  mule train crossing Tuolomme Meadow        

Saturday, August 6, 2016


  A friend complained, "Your blogs are too long.  They're hard to read on a smart phone". 
With this in mind, I'll keep this one short.

          We went to Yosemite.

I swam with the trout.

Francesca stood on a rock and later,

She sat on one.