"Security Staph" at 2003 Oregon Country Fair
Universe decreed, in summer of 2003 that I was to take a hiatus from the world of software development for an indeterminate period. Victim of both down-sizing and out-sourcing. War in Iraq was just underway even though Junior, jackass that he is, had already declared "Mission Accomplished" at his dress-up party on the USS Abraham Lincoln.
It was an angry time. And, in the spirit of the age, I was beside myself with hot, red fury. I held in contempt the uninformed citizenry that had (for the most part) stood by and allowed Junior and Cheney to carry out their short-sighted (and ill-fated) plans for hegemony in the Middle East. I was disgusted at the antics and scheming in my former workplace. I was enraged with and disappointed by myself for a whole lot of reasons. But mostly I hated the Bush administration and its principal constituency, Big Oil.
Conferring with perpetual candidate for Multnomah County Sheriff Andre Danielson on the way to the Dead show in George, WA
I was financially secure (at the time) and so, used the opportunity of my lack of employment to take a meander on the side roads of life for a while. I dropped out; I quit contributing. Rather than paying income taxes, I collected unemployment insurance. Rather than pay fuel taxes, I walked or rode public transportation.
Three-and-a-half years of living in the inner city had very much fitted me to urban lifestyle. I enrolled in some classes at Portland State University, studying Spanish and writing, did a little traveling and spent a lot of time playing guitar.
2003: Ken Kesey's "Further" bus outside the Bagdad
Gas prices were soaring in those days, and although there is no evading completely the blood-tithe extracted by corporate pirates, I triumphed with every green penny I denied them. It is different now. Times are tough and everyone is afraid. But 2003 was a good year. It was a good year, indeed.