Nov 14 2006

Rat Race

Category: The Transcendental CowboyRandall Kelley @ 20:05

Life it seems is often a circular event. Sometimes it seems to be hitting you in the face with the same thing over and over again. So much so in some cases that it can seem like a constant case of deja vu.

But it occurs to the Transcendental Cowboy, that even the rut that life can become has a duality that depends, like most dualities do, on your own perspective and outlook. Confronting the possibility that you are in the same place you were before, and that you haven’t really moved forward at all, can be a daunting and depressing realization for some.

And so, the Cowboy announces, “The rat race that places you on the giant hamster treadmill can seem fruitless and futile, if that’s how you run. But a lot of hamsters have smiles on their faces…

If you love to run, you love to run even when the scenery doesn’t change.”


Nov 03 2006

A Cloudy Mind

Category: The Transcendental CowboyRandall Kelley @ 19:44

In Tajikistan, there is a town with an airport that commercial flights only fly in and out of when the weather is just right. No clear skies, no flight. The mountains are so high that the planes must navigate through the passes, rather than over the mountains. You must have clear skies to negotiate the labyrinth of rock cliffs safely.

The prospect of getting from one state of mind to another, past the obstacles that a reactionary brain throws up like walls of stone, is not unlike getting out of this town on a flight. And so, the Transcendental Cowboy thinks of his current situation and declares, “There’s a Korogh in my head. I hope these clouds clear out soon.”


Oct 19 2006

Learn to Float

Category: The Transcendental CowboyRandall Kelley @ 17:11

After several weeks in a vicious spin, the Transcendental Cowboy emerged on the planet in a state if disarray. “‘Rode hard, put up wet.’ springs to mind.”, he says to himself.

And as he speaks of “put up wet” he notices that on this planet, at this time, it is raining. While he doesn’t see a need to blame anyone for this fact, he does contemplate it’s intrusion into his existence.

As he walks along soaking up moisture like a six foot sponge, he makes a mental note, “I don’t think I have the right skin for this.” And at that point, he begins a debate with himself on the relative value of protection from the elements versus the aggregated sum total of times it will be needed.

After calculating his location, and his past experience with it, the Transcendental Cowboy comes to the only possible conclusion which (to the surprise of several bystanders who are totally unaware of the debate he has been having in his head) he states out loud:

“You might as well buy a coat…
or learn to float.”


Oct 17 2006

It Couldn't Be You

Category: The Transcendental CowboyRandall Kelley @ 18:57

He was staring at a certain blond for a while
when the Transcendental Cowboy noticed that
he had lost track of time in his deja vu
and now that certain blond was staring back.

Made somewhat uncomfortable by his oversight
in failing to avert his gaze at the appropriate moment,
the Cowboy tried to explain the dilemma:

“You look like someone that I thought I knew.
But she wasn’t her so it couldn’t be you.”


Oct 12 2006

The Logical Thing To Do

Category: The Transcendental CowboyRandall Kelley @ 15:03

Some things you do because they need to be done.
Others because they have to be done.
But then there are the things you do
just because somebody higher up the food chain
thinks them up as “the logical thing to do”.

Neil Armstrong says, “I hope you become comfortable
with the use of logic without being deceived
into concluding that logic will inevitably
lead you to the correct conclusion.”
But the Cowboy thinks that his boss didn’t listen,
or at least didn’t get the meaning.
Heck, maybe they never even heard it.

So the Transcendental Cowboy grits his teeth
and proceeds with the task at hand.
But not without voicing his own opposition,
“You know, a chicken will run even with it’s head cut off…
That doesn’t mean it will get anywhere.”


Sep 27 2006

I love this place!

Category: The Transcendental CowboyRandall Kelley @ 19:35

The Transcendental Cowboy covers his face with his hand and
shakes his head. He can’t believe some of the things he hears.
In his head the responses go something like this,

“Can it get any more ridiculous?
Probably not.
Say what?
You want what?
Could you say that again?
Are you insane?”

But he just keeps shaking his head and trying not to pound it
on his desk. So he smiles, and then answers out loud,

“Did I mention that I love this place?”


Sep 20 2006

Ad Hoc Urinal Commentator

Category: The Transcendental CowboyRandall Kelley @ 13:20

When the man at the urinal next to the Cowboy made note of
the fact that it was Wednesday, the Cowboy let out a sigh of
despair that the ad hoc urinal commentator “got” immediately.
Said commentator began to chuckle, apparently at the
disparity of their viewpoints.

The commentator was feeling relief, both from the use of the
urinal and the fact that he had reached Wednesday, and the
implied fact that this meant his work week was half over. The
Transcendental Cowboy, on the other hand, was relieved only
by the use of the urinal and found no comfort in the fact that
the week was half over.

So the Cowboy stated his position thusly, “This is one of those
rare cases where it is better to be a ‘glass is half empty’ person,
as ‘the glass is half full’ will get you another two and a half days
of work.”


Sep 20 2006

Still trying to cough up a lung

Category: TravelRandall Kelley @ 06:37

Sorry we haven’t gotten into more on this trip, but We have been busy, busy, busy. Catching up at work, catching up at home, and moving our daughter to a new home, and preparing to move ourselves as well. I promise, more soon.

Meanwhile, you can entertain your self with the blog of a friend of the family. (seen in the blogroll at right and @

Peace, RKK

Sep 14 2006

Home Again

Category: TravelRandall Kelley @ 03:48

Our flight was good. Security took an eternity clearing everyone to board the plane. However, that meant we sat in the airport longer (as we waited for the line to go away) and less on the plane. Our flight was shorter than expected at just under 10 hours. I made it through three movies and a piece of an old one I had seen (as I knew I couldn’t finish it).

It somehow seemed strange to land and not have the cabin break into spontaneous applause. Our flight into Amsterdam from Moscow, almost a week ago, was the last time that happened. It seemed so weird at first, I mean the pilot can’t even hear it for goodness sake. But after a while it just seems appropriate. Yeah… We are still alive! Is that a vote of thanks for the pilot, or does it express serious doubts about their talent? Well, they all seemed like excellent pilots from where we sat, so Clap Clap Clap!

I think the next few weeks will be spent going over all the things that we noticed but weren’t photographable. And as we go through the photos, I’m sure we will be going, “How did we NOT get a picture of that?” I will keep you posted as we progress through that.

We are waiting for a pizza to be delivered, and trying to stay awake late enough to make tomorrow a reasonable transition. We left just before 1:00 PM and arrived just after 1:00 PM. It’s now about 4:30 but that’s 1:30 in the morning the next day back where we started. If we made it until 9:30 tonight we will have been up 24 hours. I am still sick and will not be seeing 9:30 arrive tonight. I’ll just have to suffer tomorrow.

It’s good to be home. We had some snail mail to go through, and some of it was from people reading this. Thanks to everyone who has been reading and responding as well.

“What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding?” as the song goes. We have seen a lot this trip, and we have met a lot of very nice people in a part of the world that seems scary and remote to us in the States. It isn’t so scary as we are scared, and it is only remote geographically. “People are people.” as another song says. And it is so true.

Peace, Love, and Understanding to all, R&R

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