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Old Filipino Fishing Lures

My father bought these Filipino fishing lures in the '30s or so. They're made out of bones and scrap metal and sinew and are beautiful. I just got them out of an old storage box and mounted them — they're stunning (and sharp!). This is a kind of funky 2-shot collage.)

Note wooden goggle frames

Lesley's California Coastal Poppies in May


The Golden Gate Bridge/Honky Tonk Piano/LSD in the '60s/Wooden Boat Building Classes/Big Sur Homestead

One of my rituals is to get up before dawn once a week or so, and drive into San Francisco. I go south along the coast and then across the Golden Gate Bridge to the city where I was born. This morning, the rising sun's rays and wind and mist painted the orange bridge over blue waters in sharp surreal light. It's about an hour drive, one cd's worth. This morning I listened to Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies, "Western Swing Chronicles Vol. I." A pretty much unknown and incredibly swinging band from the early '30s, with a 20 year old self-taught fiddler named Cliff Bruner, playing blues, country, blue grass, Texas swing. The Brownies recorded this music before Bob Wills started cutting records. Great vocal harmonies. Honky tonk piano. You can see the progression from these guys to Elvis. If you like old time music, take a listen to some of the tracks online.

Come here and tell me baby
Whose muddy shoes are these…


LSD in the '60s


I was talking to a friend the other night. He told me he'd taken LSD back then, and it hadn't been good. "What were the circumstances," I asked. It turned out he'd done it with a bunch of other people, they'd sat around in a room… Well, duh! In the '60s me + friends approached LSD with great care. The idea was to — ulp — increase consciousness. Yep. My first trip was with (pure) Sandoz acid liquid and I got up before dawn and went up in the hills to watch the sun rise. The first thing my enhanced awareness picked up on was the noise of the highway, audible from our house, but never as noticeably horrible as this. Later that day I saw flowers breathing. It wasn't a hallucination. Flowers do breathe, we just don't see it in our rushing around doing-this-doing-that minds. LSD ended up with a bad rep, it's powerful stuff and lends itself to messing up people's minds, but in looking back, the idea of expanding consciousness was (is) noble. More aware, more sensitive, more tuned into planetary forces and life in its many forms. OK?

Three-Dot Jots


I heard a guy talking on public radio in April, saying that by 2015 in Germany there will be more workers in the solar industry than the auto industry . . .The North House Folk School is wonderful institution in Minnesota with a huge variety of classes and seminars on crafts, building, music, doing stuff for oneself. Wooden boat building, making a kayak paddle, knitting, brewing, making a birch box and on and on. Wonderful for kids during summer months. North House Folk website . . . Huge billboard on 2nd or 3rd Street in SF with just these words: "Think ya used enough dynamite there, Butch?" . . . Memory is the 2nd thing to go. I can't remember the first . . . It's taking me a long time to get running again; a year off took its toll. I'm back to about a "C" level, I'm still slow up hills, but back with the A team on downhills . . . I'm going to NYC for the Book Expo in early June . . . Am giving a talk to the Big Sur Historical Society mid-June on the building of my house down there (Burns Creek, 2 miles north of Esalen) in the '60s. Jeez I've become historical. The house was framed with used timbers, roofed and floored with local Monterey Pine, and covered with hand-split shakes. Gravity-fed water from a spring, owner-built septic tank, big garden . . .

Stretching At Your Computer (Dept. of Shameless Commerce)


StretchWare: Eleven years ago we developed software that reminds you to stretch at your computer. Every couple of hours, or certain number of keystrokes, a Tibetan bell sounds and a window pops up saying "Do you have time to stretch?" If you click "no," the program goes away. If you click "yes," the stretches appear on screen. Take a 5 minute stretching break.

It works on Mac and Windows and you can try it free for 30 days by going to:StretchWare website

Ukulele Chords Online: "Ain't She Sweet," "Sweet Georgia Brown," ""Your Cheatin' Heart," Etc. +Ukulele Ike

This morning I got an email from Jeff West referring to one of my old blogs on playing the ukulele and asking if I knew where he could get uke chords for "Ain't She Sweet." I looked through my 4 uke song books and not finding it, did a web search AND came up with site that has chords for 239 ukulele songs (free):Doctor Uke's Uke Chords
When I was in high school I got a song book called Ukulele Ike - Collection for the Ukulele #1, and it's still the best book of easy-to-play uke chords I've seen. Some of them are beautiful progressions, like the chords for "Over the Rainbow." There are a lot of great '20s-'30s-'40s era songs, like "Five Foot Two," "Ja-Da," and "When You Wore A Tulip." The chords shown are graphic, that is, they show you the positions of each note on the keyboard, rather than indicating just "C7," "F," or "A7." Three other good uke chord books are: Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Favorites," Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Gems, and Harry Reser's Let's Play the Baritone Uke.
One of the songs I printed out from Dr. Uke was "Fly Me to the Moon." I've always loved the opening lyrics:
Fly me to the moon
And let me play among the stars,
Let me see what Spring is like
on Jupiter and Mars…

They just don't write lyrics like that nowadays…