Me Writing

Flashback 2004 – Living Rough Again On Oahu

Living Rough Again on Oahu
by Vago Damitio

(I wrote this on a blospot blog back on June 25, 2004 I’m glad this isn’t my life any longer.)

mural on OahuAlright…I can’t resist. I’m living “vanlife” again. This time on the island of Oahu. I got the van for $175. It’s a plymouth voyager and it seems to have fuel injection problems. It gets me where I need to go though, so far. I’m having a hard time sleeping at night. maybe because it’s an island, it’s a littel different than my old VW days. The main annoyances….there are no parking signs everywhere mostly 10PM to 7AM, Hawaiians love to play loud music and have impromptu parties in Marinas and parks without no parking signs. I tend to avoid drunken gatherings of big Samoans, Hawaiians, Tongans, and Filipinos. People in neighborhoods are so f#*(ing healthy, they wake up at 5AM and start raking leaves, running, watering plants, etc) which makes it hard to sleep.People actually know each other in neighborhoods here, I stand out…people look and say “who is that guy in the van?” not like the mainland where no one knows anyone else.

Despite all of that, I’m figuring it out. I generally sleep in two stages, moving at least once during the night. In the day, I make coffee in the van, swim, shower at the beach, go for a sunrise run (yeah, I’m healthy too!), read for a while, then go to the library where I work on my novel. One very cool thing is wifi…I can use peoples internet from my van with my laptop. Very cool. I usually buy what I want to eat and then cook it. Why have extra. All in all. Life is pretty good. Hopefully, I can get my van fixed soon, the fuel injectors seem to be going out…crapola.

Rambling Man Archives Uncategorized

Ramblin’ Man: Trash


One of the biggest problems our society faces is the amount of waste we produce. Our dumpsters, our landfills, and our landscapes are overflowing with waste. What is waste?
Websters defines waste as (1) Using, consuming, or expending thoughtlessly (2) to lose or cause to lose energy, strength or vigor and (3) to fail to take advantage of; lose: waste an opportunity.

I’d like to offer another definitionto add to this list. Waste is an unused resource. I’ll repeat that, because I think it’s important: Waste is an unused resource.
Our society is overflowing with waste- resources we are not using. From paper cups to food waste to no longer wanted, though once favorite toys to senior citizens who are pigeon holed into “ human landfills” depriving us of their life experience and wisdom. Why do we do it? Why is our society like this?

Let me explain. After World War II, we entered a period when the industrial base which had been built to supply a world war was turned to civilian use. After years of rationing and scarceness, suddenly there was more than one society could use. A new ethic was born, a new society was born. “ The Throwaway Society”. You’ve heard that term before, right?

The throwaway society was able to provide maximum employment and offer huge amounts of goods and services to the public at prices they could afford. Suddenly, Americans had more available to them through production and gainful employment. The key though, was to keep people spending their paychecks by providing incentives to buy “new, bigger, better” products. By building in obsoleteness, we could keep the factories in full production creating a disgusting symbiosis….people had more income to spend, and it was necessary to encourage them to spend it to keep the assembly lines rolling.
Sounds pretty good, right? Not know, but at the time it did. It wasn’t an easy thing to do though. As Americans, we’re descended from imminently practical ancestors. Ask your grandparents…it may be hard to believe now, but prior to about 1950, there were three values most Americans shared…Frugality, Economy, and Neighborly Cooperation. These weren’t just arbitrary values. Survival depended on it.

Frugality, which we look at as a bad thing,”being cheap”. In fact, frugality is defined as practicing or marked by economy…What does that mean? Well, it means making the best possible buying decision, weighing the power of your buying dollar and getting the most for it. Makes sense, right?

Ecoonomy refers to running your household efficiently, using that frugality to make your dollar go even further sot that you can buy more seed, a new plow, or maybe even splurge and get one of them newfangled telephones to communicat with your neighbors and loved ones.

Neighborly cooperation meant knowing your neighbors and being willing to help them with your skills or work- What you got in return was the help of your neighbors with their skills of work. Imagine a barn raising, where all the men in a neighborhood come together to create something. And instead of pigeonholing the women, children, and elderly at home- utilizing their skills to benefit everyone. The men, and the women who choose to, work on the structure, the other women prepare a midday meal for the workers, and meanwhile, the elderly and children spend quality time together removing plants from where the structure will go, or just learning from each other. Youth and experience, who says they don’t go together.

You see, our ancestors needed these values of economy, frugality, and neighborly cooperation….and so do we. Without them, there was and is no hope of building homes where families can grow up and prosper.

So, back to the 1950s. In order to get people to support this new “ throwaway society”, the simple values needed to be replaced with a new ethic. That ethic was a different sort of economy…the government realized that in order to make it successful, the capital had to be in a constant flow, from employers to employeees, from employees back to the employers. By building in the concept of consumer debt, they ensured that people would need to keep working in order to satisfy the need to “ keep up with the Joneses”. In short, it worked, in a very short period of time economy, frugality, and neighborly cooperation had gone out the window.

The self made man replaced the community leader as role model and the new model replaced the trusted old car. The new products rolled off the shelves nearly as quick as they were produced and dreams of utopia inspired newer, bigger, and better replacements even quicker. Which brings us to today.

We’re starting to see the drawbacks of this “throwaway society”. Consumer debt is at an all time high. Instead of working less, we’re working more. Do you realize a family with one income used to typically be able to buy a home, raise multiple children, and still have time to enjoy the home and kids? Now it’s all we can do to have two incomes support a rental home with one child– and forget about time to enjoy either.

The key to this problem lies in our perception of waste and the three values I’ve been telling you about.

For example: a few years ago, I started paying attention to the amount of “waste” I produced… amazingly, I was producing more than 15 pounds a week! Me, a single guy! What did I do? I started by recycling. Jars, pizza cartons, packaging, bottles, scrap paper. Next, I started to compost. My food scraps now create healthy soil for my garden. I was still producing to much waste. So I started to pay attention to packaging, refusing to buy overpackaged products. I was still producing several pounds of waste every week- so I started thinking of ways I could use waht was still going into my garbage…instead of tossing it. As an example, I’ve found over 70 uses for plastic grocery bags! Isn’t that amazing?

Me My Mission Writing

Social Justice, Society, Education

social justice I wrote this essay back in 2008, as of this publishing of it, my student loans add up to more than $45,000 despite my having paid back nearly $10,000. My education has earned me less than $2000 and none of it in my major of anthropology. A cracker jack degree would have gotten me the same jobs as my degree from a respected University.

Social Jutice, Society, and Education

by Vago Damitio
First of all, let me posit, that society gives those with wealth a definite advantage over those without. This isn’t news to anyone, but let me give an example that you may not have thought of. To break free of a background in poverty, one path is that of achieving a higher education. Getting a degree is an expensive proposition in time, labor, and effort. Yet, many, like myself willingly choose this path out of the cycle of poverty. And now, I move into my example of how the wealthy are favored: those who have their education paid for by parents or others, do not have to deal with the complexities of financial aid. It is only those of us who are poor that are forced to deal with the entrenched bureaucracy, paperwork, and jumping through hoops that is required in order to get loans, scholarships, and grants.

I have lived in poverty for nearly all of my life. As a child


What will the New Depression Look Like?

Great Article from Sort of depressing, but I’m not going to let it get me down. I think this Depression can be just as fashionable as the last one. I’ve got a couple of suits ready that I’m going to start wearing all the time. I’ve got a fedora. And I’ve got a good pair of leather shoes. I’m ready. Are you?

By the way, can you name the film this picture comes from? One of the best ever made. (answer can be found below the article)

Depression 2009: What would it look like?
Lines at the ER, a television boom, emptying suburbs. A catastrophic economic downturn would feel nothing like the last one.
By Drake Bennett | November 16, 2008

OVER THE PAST few months, Americans have been hearing the word “depression” with unfamiliar and alarming regularity. The financial crisis tearing through Wall Street is routinely described as the worst since the Great Depression, and the recession into which we are sinking looks deep enough, financial commentators warn, that a few poor policy decisions could put us in a depression of our own.

It’s a frightening possibility, but also in many ways an abstraction. The country has gone so long without a depression that it’s hard to know what it would be like to live through one.

Most of us, of course, think we know what a depression looks like. Open a history book and the images will be familiar: mobs at banks and lines at soup kitchens, stockbrokers in suits selling apples on the street, families piled with all their belongings into jalopies. Families scrimp on coffee and flour and sugar, rinsing off tinfoil to reuse it and re-mending their pants and dresses. A desperate government mobilizes legions of the unemployed to build bridges and airports, to blaze trails in national forests, to put on traveling plays and paint social-realist murals.

Today, however, whatever a depression would look like, that’s not it. We are separated from the 1930s by decades of profound economic, technological, and political change, and a modern landscape of scarcity would reflect that.

What, then, would we see instead? And how would we even know a depression had started? It’s not a topic that professional observers of the economy study much. And there’s no single answer, because there’s no one way a depression might unfold. But it’s nonetheless an important question to consider – there’s no way to make informed decisions about the present without understanding, in some detail, the worst-case scenario about the future.

By looking at what we know about how society and commerce would slow down, and how people respond, it’s possible to envision what we might face. Unlike the 1930s, when food and clothing were far more expensive, today we spend much of our money on healthcare, child care, and education, and we’d see uncomfortable changes in those parts of our lives. The lines wouldn’t be outside soup kitchens but at emergency rooms, and rather than itinerant farmers we could see waves of laid-off office workers leaving homes to foreclosure and heading for areas of the country where there’s more work – or just a relative with a free room over the garage. Already hollowed-out manufacturing cities could be all but deserted, and suburban neighborhoods left checkerboarded, with abandoned houses next to overcrowded ones.

And above all, a depression circa 2009 might be a less visible and more isolating experience. With the diminishing price of televisions and the proliferation of channels, it’s getting easier and easier to kill time alone, and free time is one thing a 21st-century depression would create in abundance. Instead of dusty farm families, the icon of a modern-day depression might be something as subtle as the flickering glow of millions of televisions glimpsed through living room windows, as the nation’s unemployed sit at home filling their days with the cheapest form of distraction available.

The odds are, most economists say, we will yet avoid a full-blown depression – the world’s policy makers, they argue, have learned enough not to repeat the mistakes of the 1930s. Still, in a country that has known little but economic growth for 50 years, it matters to think about what life would look like without it.

. . .

There is, in fact, no agreed-upon definition of what a depression is. Economists are unanimous that the Great Depression was the worst economic downturn the industrial world has ever seen, and that we haven’t had a depression since, but beyond that there is not a consensus. Recessions have an official definition from the National Bureau of Economic Research, but the bureau pointedly declines to define a depression.

What sets a depression apart, most economists would agree, are duration and the scale of joblessness. To be worthy of the name, a depression needs to be more than a few years long – far longer than the eight-month average of our recent recessions – and it needs to put a lot of people out of work. The Great Depression lasted a decade by some measures, and at its worst, one in four American workers was out of a job. (By comparison, unemployment now is at a 14-year high of 6.5 percent.)

In a modern depression, the swelling ranks of the unemployed would likely change the landscape of the country, uprooting people who would rather stay where they are and trapping people who want to move. In the 1930s, this took the visible form of waves of displaced tenant farmers washing into California, but it also had another, subtler effect: it froze the movement of the middle class. The suburbanization that was to define the post-World-War-II years had in fact started in the 1920s, only to be brought sharply to a halt when the economy collapsed.

Today, a depression could reverse that process altogether. In a deep and sustained downturn, home prices would likely sink further and not rise, dimming the appeal of homeownership, a large part of suburbia’s draw. Renting an apartment – perhaps in a city, where commuting costs are lower – might be more tempting. And although city crime might increase, the sense of safety that attracted city-dwellers to the suburbs might suffer, too, in a downturn. Many suburban areas have already seen upticks in crime in recent years, which would only get worse as tax-poor towns spent less money on policing and public services.

“You could have a sort of desurburbanization phenomenon,” suggests Michael Bernstein, a historian of the Depression and the provost of Tulane University.

The migrations kicked off by a depression wouldn’t be in one direction, but a tangle of demographic crosscurrents: young families moving back to their hometowns to live with the grandparents when they can no longer afford to live on their own, parents moving in with their adult children when their postretirement fixed incomes can no longer support them. Some parts of the country, especially the Rust Belt, could see a wholesale depopulation as the last remnants of the American heavy-manufacturing base die out.

“There will be some cities like Detroit that in a real depression could just become ghost towns,” says Jeffrey Frankel, a Harvard economist and member of the National Bureau of Economic Research committee that declares recessions. (Frankel does not, he emphasizes, think we are headed for a depression.)

. . .

At the household level, the look of want is different today than during the last prolonged downturn. The government helps the unemployed and the poor with programs that didn’t exist when the Great Depression hit – unemployment insurance, Medicaid, food stamps, Social Security for seniors. Beyond that, two of the basics of existence – food and clothing – are a lot cheaper today, thanks to industrial agriculture and overseas labor. The average middle-class man in the late 1920s, according to the writer and cultural critic Virginia Postrel, could afford just six outfits, and his wife nine – by comparison, the average woman today has seven pairs of jeans alone. So we’re less likely to see one of the iconic images of the Great Depression: Formerly middle-class workers in threadbare clothes lining up for free food.

If we look closely, however, we might see more former lawyers wearing knockoffs, doing their back-to-school shopping at Target or Wal-Mart rather than Banana Republic and Abercrombie & Fitch. Lean times might kill off much of the taboo around buying hand-me-downs, and with modern distribution networks – and a push from the reduce-reuse-recycle mind-set of environmentalism – we might see the development of nationwide used-clothing chains.

In general, novelty would lose some of its luster. It’s not simply that we’d buy less, we’d look for different qualities in what we buy. New technology would grow less seductive, basic reliability more important. We’d see more products like Nextel phones and the Panasonic Toughbook laptop, which trade on their sturdiness, and fewer like the iPhone – beautiful, cleverly designed, but not known for durability. The neighborhood appliance shop could reappear in a new form – unlicensed, with hacked cellphones and rebuilt computers.

And while very few would starve, a depression would change how we eat. Food costs remain far below what they were for a family in the 1920s and 1930s, but they have been rising in recent years, and many people already on the edge of poverty would be unable to feed themselves on their own in a harsh economic climate – soup kitchens are already seeing an uptick in attendance. At the high end of the market, specialty and organic foods – which drove the success of chains like Whole Foods – would seem pointlessly expensive; the booming organic food movement could suffer as people start to see specially grown produce as more of a luxury than a moral choice. New England’s surviving farmers would be particularly hard-hit, as demand for their seasonal, relatively high-cost products dried up.

According to Marion Nestle, a food and public health professor at New York University, people low on cash and with more time on their hands will cook more rather than go out. They may also, Nestle suggests, try their hands at growing and even raising more of their own food, if they have any way of doing so. Among the green lawns of suburbia, kitchen gardens would spring up. And it might go well beyond just growing your own tomatoes: early last month, the English bookstore chain Waterstone’s reported a 200 percent increase in the sales of books on keeping chickens.

At the same time, the cheapest option for many is decidedly less rustic: meals like packaged macaroni and cheese and drive-through fast food. And we’re likely to see a move in that direction, as well, toward cheaper, easier calories. If so, lean times could have the odd effect of making the population fatter, as more Americans eat like today’s poor.

. . .

To understand where a depression would hit hardest, however, look at the biggest-ticket items on people’s budgets.

Housing, health insurance, transportation, and child care are the top expenses for American families, according to Elizabeth Warren, a bankruptcy law specialist at Harvard Law School; along with taxes, these take up two-thirds of income, on average. And when those are squeezed, that could mean everything from more crowded subways to a proliferation of cheap, unlicensed day-care centers.

Health insurance premiums have risen to onerous levels in recent years, and in a long period of unemployment – or underemployment – they would quickly become unmanageable for many people. Dropping health insurance would be an immediate way for families to save hundreds of dollars per month. People without health insurance tend to skip routine dental and medical checkups, and instead deal with health problems only when they become acute – meaning they get their healthcare through hospital emergency rooms.

That means even longer waits at ERs, which are even now overtaxed in many places, and a growing financial drain on hospitals that already struggle to pay for the care they give uninsured people. And if, as is likely, this coincided with cuts in money for hospitals coming from cash-strapped state and local governments, there’s a very real possibility that many hospitals would have to close, only further increasing the burden on those that remain open. In their place people could rely more on federally-funded health centers, or the growing number of drugstore clinics, like the MinuteClinics in CVS branches, for vaccines, physicals, strep throat tests, and other basic medical care. And as the costs of traditional medicine climbed out reach for families, the appeal of alternative medicine would in all likelihood grow.

Higher education, another big expense, would probably take a hit as well. Students unable to afford private universities would opt for public universities, students unable to afford four-year colleges would opt for community colleges, and students unable to afford community college wouldn’t go at all. With fewer applicants, admissions standards would drop, with spots that once would have been filled by more qualified, poorer students going instead to wealthier applicants who before would not have made the cut. Some universities would simply shrink. In Boston, a city almost uniquely dependent on higher education, the results – fewer students renting apartments, going to restaurants and bars, opening bank accounts, buying books, taking taxis – would be particularly acute.

A depression would last too long for unemployed college graduates to ride out the downturn in business or law school, so people would have to change career plans entirely. One place that could see an uptick in applications and interest is government work: Its relative stability, combined with a suspicion of free-market ideology that would accompany a truly disastrous downturn, could attract more people and even help the public sector shake off its image as a redoubt for the mediocre and the unambitious.

. . .

In many ways, though, today’s depression would not look like the last one because it would not look like much at all. As Warren wrote in an e-mail, “The New Depression would be largely invisible because people would experience loss privately, not publicly.”

In the public imagination, the Depression was a galvanizing time, the crucible in which the Greatest Generation came of age and came together. That is, at best, only partly true. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam has found that, for many, the Depression was isolating: Kiwanis clubs, PTAs, and other social groups lost around half their members from 1930 to 1935. And other studies on economic hardship suggest that it tends to sap people’s civic engagement, often permanently.

“When people become unemployed in the Great Depression, they hunker down, they pull in from everybody.” Putnam says.

That effect, Putnam believes, would only be more pronounced today. The Depression was, famously, a boom time for movies – people flocked to cheap double features to escape the dreariness of their everyday poverty. Today, however, movies are no longer cheap. Nor is a day at the ballpark.

Much of a modern depression would unfold in the domestic sphere: people driving less, shopping less, and eating in their houses more. They would watch television at home; unemployed parents would watch over their own kids instead of taking them to day care. With online banking, it would even be possible to have a bank run in which no one leaves the comfort of their home.

There would be darker effects, as well. Depression, unsurprisingly, is higher in economically distressed households; so is domestic violence. Suicide rates go up in tough times, marriage rates and birthrates go down. And while divorce rates usually rise in recessions, they dropped during the Great Depression, in part because unhappy couples found they simply couldn’t afford separation.

In precarious times, hunkering down can become not simply a defense mechanism, but a worldview. Grant McCracken, an anthropologist affiliated with MIT who studies consumer behavior, calls this distinction “surging” vs. “dwelling” – the difference, as he wrote recently on his blog, between believing that the world “teems with new features, new things, new opportunities, new excitement” and thinking that life’s pleasures come from counting one’s blessings and appreciating and holding onto what one already has. Economic uncertainty, he argues, drives us toward the latter.

As a nation, we have grown very accustomed to the momentum that surging imparts. And while a depression remains far from inevitable, it’s as close as it has been in a lifetime. We might want to get a sense for what dwelling feels like.

Drake Bennett is the staff writer for Ideas. E-mail

Answer: It’s The Bicycle Thief. If you haven’t seen it, watch it tonight.

Me Writing

How to Deal with Aggression – Blackberries and Work

by Vago Damitio

Blackberries are the scourge of the Pacific Northwest. To those who have never dealt with them, it sounds lovely to have a huge blackberry bramble growing in the yard. It’s different if you live in the northwest. Imported from the Himalayas to England and from England to America, blackberries found a perfect environment to thrive in. The vines can stretch out above or below ground. They wrap around native vegetation and strangle it.

I’ve seen stalks as thick as three inches with thorns nearly an inch long. The thorns are vicious. They break off and lodge in your skin. If left unchecked blackberries can overrun a good-sized lot or pasture in a little more than a season. Wildlife finds them an uncomfortable habitat and land that is overrun with blackberries is good for nothing besides a yearly harvest of the tasty little berries.

I’d been fighting the vines nearly all of my life and found an intense pleasure in the battle. Blackberries fight back. I rarely wear gloves when engaging the prickly vines out of some weird sense of chivalrousness towards nature. I’ve never walked away without spilling some of my own blood on the ground they climb out of.

The smell of the rotting berries and sliced stems was sweet as I used a pair of bolt cutters I’d gotten at a yard sale to cut the stems. Just snip and stomp. Alas, too soon all of the blackberry bushes were gone and so I took out my hammer and searched the fence for some extra nails I could pull and use to patch up said fence. Again, the work was done too soon so I tacked up a gutter that had fallen from the shed that was in the process of collapsing then I fixed up the gate latch that had been getting looser and looser. I looked around for more fixing up, but didn’t see much more to do.

Me My Mission

Rocky the Wrestler in Waikiki

I posted this on my old blog back in 2008. It was a great day. I miss Rocky and the beach boys. Hopefully I’ll see them sometime before too long. ~Vago

While I was riding my skateboard around Waikiki today, I ran into my buddy Rocky. Rocky is the captain of one of the catamarans that pulls up on Waikiki and takes folks out for sunset and blue water cruises. If you make it to Waikiki, his catamaran is the one right behind the statue of Duke Kahanamoku. Rocky and I became friends when I was working as a casting assistant for a reality show that was trying to find Hawaii people for their wife-swap show.

Rocky used to be a professional wrestler in the 1980’s. He wrestled under the name Aboudeen, mostly around Portland, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. If you meet Rocky on the beach, tell him that Vago sent you and if he looks puzzled just say, the guy who wrote the vagabond book. He will know who you mean right away.


Ramblin’ Man: Choices

rambling man columnChoices

You can’t really do anything about anything except make the best choice you can and face the consequences. You weigh what you can about the consequences, greaten your odds and go for it. Never look back with regret, there’s no reason to if you made the best decision possible. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t punish yourself if you know you made the best decision possible. That is why it is important to understand your own nature, so that emotions, drugs, alcohol, ignorance don’t prevent YOU from makein the right decision. You’re responsibility is to make the best decision you can. The consequences can be devastating and far reaching if you .

Be what you want society to be. Live the way you want others to live. But think carefully, there’s truth to the parable of let him who is free of sin ( guilt) cast the first stone. It is in fact a demonstration of the sin of men, but the joke is that one who is free of sin would forgive the sinner and have no need nor desire to throw the stone. So no stones can or will be thrown. Ha…the sinner is freed by the words. The words were magic.

Food and Booze Uncategorized

The fabric of reality, half priced things, and the end of my fast.

What exactly is the fabric of reality? What holds us all together? I am speaking not just metaphorically but also literally. Think about it, you are made up of atoms that are made up of protons and electrons that are made up of smaller particles and all of them are held together by universal forces that we can put a name to but that no one actually understands. Something is keeping us from flying apart at any given moment. What is it that holds the fabric of reality together?

Personally, I think that atomic force, gravity, electricity, magnetism and the rest are simply the visible manifestations of God. We are held together (and not just us but EVERYTHING) by these forces and to me, it is pretty clear that this is the hand of God. Why can’t you look God in the face? Because to see the true nature of these forces, one is destroyed. It’s a solid concept in Zen, if you strive to master contemplation you will lose the ability to contemplate.

Here are a few things to consider:

1. You are not still. You only think you’re still. You are accelerating.

2. Electromagnetic forces are holding your skin and bones together. (Whew.)

3. Time flows as you read. But need it flow forward? Might it flow backward, so that you unread each word and the words appear to you in reverse order?

4. Only 5 percent of the universe that you inhabit can be described as familiar matter. According to the author’s formulation, 25 percent is dark matter. The remaining 70 percent may consist of dark energy, which remains at this moment a hypothetical concept. But the next generation of particle accelerators may be powerful enough to achieve empirical tests of this theory and many of the others postulated here. If at some future date physical evidence is found to corroborate the boldest of these speculations, trips to Stockholm may ensue.
from The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene

If you stop and think about it, really think about it, it’s totally terrifying…unless you have some basic truth to hold you grounded. You don’t have to go Trippin with the Dalai Lama to get it. You just have to recognize that here we are. All of us. Held together by something that holds us together and most likely, we aren’t going to rush apart any time soon. Unless we take the time to really really really get it.

On the personal side of things…buy some of the books I’ve written.

Finally, this is the last day of my cleansing fast. I can’t wait to eat some great bread, mozzarella cheese, and a big juicy mango.

Me Writing

Good Friends You’ve Never Met

This is an excerpt from the Original Slackville Road. It didn’t make it into the re-release. Here’s the thing…it’s a true story. It happened to me and a buddy in Bellingham…fiction is real life…in this case.

~Vago Damitio

pancake houseThere was a guy sitting to my left that kept looking at Ricky on my right. I couldn’t tell what was happening but he seemed plenty mad and he seemed like he couldn’t see anything but Ricky. Suddenly he started speaking over me.

“What’s your fucking problem? Why do you gotta sit there?” Ricky tried to laugh it off but pretty soon the guy stood up and started moving towards him, ready to fight. What was going on with people? I grabbed him by the shirt, making him notice me.

“Hey buddy, why you doing this? What’s your name?” He seemed to notice me for the first time.

“Craig,” he said” Do I know you?”

“Sure Craig, you know me. We go way back. Don’t tell me you don’t remember all the good times we’ve had?” I didn’t know this guy but he was incredibly drunk. It might work. “Why else do you think I’m sitting here having breakfast with you?”

“Yeah, sure, that’s right, I remember. Course I do. Just losing that damn job right now with all the holiday bills. And they keep hiring the fucking Mexicans…” He noticed Ricky again and started moving towards him. Ricky might look like a Mexican to a drunk bigot.

“Craig, he’s no Mexican. That’s my friend. My friend, you’re my friend too. Why would you wanna fight with one of my buddies when you and I are such good buddies. That’s not cool. Besides, he’s a Cajun not a Mexican.” The guy moved back to his chair and started crying. This was the weirdest fucking night of my life.

The guy was a victim of downsizing. He gushed his story out and then got up to go. He stopped at the register and I heard him tell the waitress that he was paying for whatever his two buddies down there had ordered. He meant Ricky and me. Fucking weird.


My Mission

No need to read, write, or do math. No need for writers, readers, or mathmaticians.

Consider the following:

this is the first article I have made using voice transcription. the technology is amazing. I forgot the power cord for my laptop when I left for Spain. so I’m working from my phone. I still find it amazing I can speak into this boxing have the words transcribes directly onto the Internet there are a few errors in punctuation or spelling I can understand that. infact even if the words are sometimes completely wrong overall it’s still astounding. I’m amazed that I could potentially write a novel by simply typing in not typing speaking words into my phone. the technology is there and it’s good. what am I doing? I came to Spain renew my Moroccan be set my 3 months in Morocco is up so I’ve spent the past 3 days in Spain first I flew to jerona
I took a train to Barcelona I paid 6 euros for a hospital bed I took a train to the famous monastery a monster rot and hike in the mountains of Colonia. I took another train to figure that s the home of Salvador Dali. I got a hotel room because I didn’t sleep well in the hostel. I slept well in the hotel and now I’ll go to Salvador Dali’s Museum. after that I’ll go back to drown a whirl stay with a friend I once met in the airport. it’s always good to meet people. then the next day I’ll fly back to Morocco where I’ll go back home and continue working. right now my work doesn’t pay I don’t know when it will. but my work is important. at least I like to think it’s important although with the ability to write by simply talking into a phone maybe the work of a writer no longer is important. maybe my work as a writer never has been important. this is the hard part of living

I made this with my phone. Never mind the grammar and misspelling. This wasn’t some complicated computer program at a government lab – this was with my phone. And then, I used Google Translate to put my article in five languages – again, using my phone and the internet.

Technology is astounding and it has almost made writers, readers, and mathmaticians obsolete. You don’t need to be able to read or do math. Punch an equation into Google, have Siri read this article out loud for you, your voice search can show you the results and type in the URLs.

Oh shit…we’ve made ourselves redundant and irrelevant. Now, if we could just turn computers into consumers that would buy our products…oh, looks like there’s still a function for the meat machines after all…we’re the gullible dummies.